Poor performance by students in all levels of examinations is a concern in Botswana. This paper attempts to investigate the causes of this state of affairs. It analyses the variables that lead to poor performance and isolates language used in maths as a critical factor in declining performance in our schools. It addresses the cause of this problem and proposes solutions.
1.0 The Problem
This paper is motivated by a statement the Minister of Education, Mrs Pelonomi Venson Moitoi made to Parliament recently. The statement follows a decline at all levels of national examination results that is PSLE, JC and BGCSE. The Minister alluded to the fact that this disturbing trend has been happening since 2005 (Mmegi,2013). This is a worrying trend and needs to be reversed urgently. Members of Parliament from the opposition in response told the Minister whether it was not appropriate to inform the nation that an educated and informed nation was no longer attainable given this decline. The issue of examination results is a national issue as it affects all. The Minister in her response stated that, “We are all accountable in this house as parents, it is not about me, it is a national issue.” An improvement in the quality of education is what most people hold dear to their hearts.
To put this matter into further context, the President of this Republic, HE Ian Khama bemoaned the country’s pathetic school results and he registered his dissatisfaction with his Minister of Education. They were described in the local media as in such negative terms as catastrophic, disastrous and devastating. Of the 38 385 candidates who sat for JC exams in 2012, only 5 317 performed well while 33 061 were either borderline cases or failed dismally. This is a case for concern and needs urgently remedial action. Botswana is part of a global network to achieve quality education in all spheres. Mmegi (2013) states that the issue of...