Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 2(8), pp. 1431-1437  August 2011         
Copyright © 2011 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper


A reflection of human rights issues in the junior and senior secondary school social studies syllabi (curricula) of public schools in Botswana: views of inservice teachers at the University of Botswana

Koketso Jeremiah

BOX 404594 Gaborone, Botswana, Telephone: (267) 355 2972, Fax: (267) 318 5096


Received 23 May, 2011; Accepted 25 July, 2011


This study reports an investigation of the coverage of human rights by the junior and senior secondary school Social Studies syllabi (curricula) of public schools in Botswana. Initially, a document analysis of the two syllabi revealed that the coverage in the junior secondary school Social Studies syllabus was in the ratio 1:35 and 2.8 in percentage. In the case of the senior secondary Social Studies syllabus, the ratio was 1:38 and the percentage coverage was 2.6. The study surveyed 12 inservice Social Studies teachers enrolled for the B.Ed. (Secondary) degree at the University of Botswana. The study sought to investigate the views of the sampled inservice teachers on the coverage of human rights in the junior and senior secondary school Social Studies syllabi as revealed by document analysis. The study revealed that the sampled teachers knew the definition of human rights, and as it would be expected, they had various definitions which differed only in wording, but in essence they were basically the same. Furthermore, the study revealed that the inservice teachers knew the importance of studying human rights in junior and senior secondary schools, and the difference between human rights and civil rights. On the coverage of human rights on the two syllabi, respondents said it was low and suggested that it be increased. Respondents also made various comments as to the status of the coverage of human rights by the two syllabi. However, the most outstanding comments were: (1) Human rights were so important that they needed to be protected and those who violated them should be severely punished; and (2) Human rights should be effectively taught so that students should thoroughly understand them. The findings had implications for a variety of stakeholders in the education system including teachers, education policy makers and teacher training institutions.


Keywords: Syllabi, public schools, human rights, civil rights, Botswana. 

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