Impacts of tertiary education on the social status of women, in relation to local social obligations and expectations: a case study from Mababe, Botswana

Thesis by: Segadimo, Golang

This project is about how exposure to different cultural values can impact the indigeneity of women. It focuses of how the culture of the majority, which is mostly imposed on these indigenous women through education and tertiary institutions, impacts the choices they make, as compared to the expectations and obligations of own community. I am using the case study on one indigenous group located in Mababe, Botswana. The Botswana education system syllabus promotes the culture of the majority, which is Tswana, despite the rich cultural diversity that the country has. The syllabus is also lined up to suit the western style of education. Learners are expected to learn all and practice some of the values learnt in the classroom. On contrary, learners are brought up in their communities being taught oral tradition, and own cultural values, and expected to practice them at home. Traditional values are completely different from values taught in the formal education system. This therefore causes a cultural mismatch. As much as education is important to the lives of many, and considered a way of personal development, to some indigenous communities the same can mean making sacrifices. This is because some indigenous communities still consider culture and oral tradition as a strong and important part of their lives. Retaining culture, at the same time pursuing formal education put these women on the cross-roads sometimes, causing cultural mismatch and making it hard to find a balance between the classroom culture and home culture. In finding themselves in the cross roads some learners react differently to this dilemma. Some choose to abandon own culture and assimilate in the culture of the majority, while others choose or are forced by circumstances to abandon education and keep own tradition. This thesis looks at the circumstances surrounding this issue, basing on the Khwee women of Mababe. Key word: Education, Indigeneity, Cultural values, Oral tradition, Women, Identity.

Thesis available