Reflection on Freirean pedagogy and the transformation on rural Botswana

Maruatona, Tonic
Date of publication: 
Mon, 1996-01-01

The article explores how the Freirean pedagogy can be employed to facilitate the transformation of rural Botswana. The
Freirean approach is a strategy that can be adopted for assisting underprivileged sections of any society to enhance their consciousness and bring about change in their lives. The historical development in Botswana is assessed and it is
concluded that the society is polarized into classes of the rich and the impoverished. Those who are poor are more often found in the rural areas. Freirean pedagogy is analyzed with the intention of showing that it can help the poor to break free of the shackles of poverty, negative self concept and the culture of silence within which they have been enclosed for too long. It would enhance their capacity to challenge the "dehumanizing" aspects of their lives through dialogue. The Botswana context is viewed as conducive because there are both Governmental and Non Governmental Organizations that can facilitate the process of change among the rural people if they adopt this approach. The Botswana Government is gradually becoming aware of the limitations of planning for people and not with them. Therefore, as it is planning to involve the people, the Freirean approach is viewed as essential to help to prepare the people for their future role as participants planning in development. Finally, a critical overview of the method is given to show its limitations, especially, that it can be used by conservatives to meet their own ends. This is intended to caution practitioners against being manipulated if the approach is adopted.