Promotion of French language in Botswana
The French Government has endeavoured to respond to the request of the Government of Botswana to implement and develop the teaching and learning of French language throughout the country.
This is to enable Botswana to be heard and communicate throughout the African continent on which next to half of the States have French as their official language. On a wider scale, French being the worldwide language of diplomacy, one of the main working languages within most international organizations (such as the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union…) and a very important language for business, the promotion of the French language in the country would provide Botswana with enhanced opportunities for international development.
This important collaboration between the Ministry of Education of Botswana and French Cooperation is in keeping with the general pattern of the policy of close cooperation both countries are wishing to strengthen. To serve this significant linguistic project, a cooperation counsellor for French language has been appointed to the French Embassy in Botswana.
One of the main ambitions of this programme is to gradually generalize the teaching of French throughout secondary education. The Embassy of France will first and foremost assist to ensure of the quality of teachers’ training. To that purpose, ten Batswana language teachers spent a year in the French island of La Réunion in 2006-2007 to take a Bachelor of Arts in TFFL (Teaching French as a Foreign Language) – which they all passed with merit. Ten others left last year for the same programme. Besides, the French embassy is organising workshops for all teachers of French such as the one which took place in Tlokweng Education Centre in January 2008.
The French embassy will also assist with all other pedagogical, practical and technical aspects of the project (continuing education, curriculum development, inspectorate, assessment, examinations, planning…) when requested.
The cooperation with the University of Botswana, which currently is the cornerstone of the training of the French teachers in Botswana, is being reinforced (in-service training for the teachers, providing of books and teaching aids…) and the French Embassy is contributing to the revival of the association of the French teachers in Botswana.
Another important aspect of our action is our cooperation with local associations working for the promotion of French language and the cultures of French-speaking countries, most importantly with the Alliance Française of Gaborone who, though a local and independent association, benefits from the unyielding support of the French Government.
The Embassy of France will also assist in promoting the learning and teaching of French for the regional organisations (SADC…) and to the benefit of the staff within interested administrations (including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Police forces, the Army…).
This wide-scale project for French language in Botswana will be supported by agreements between the French Government and the Government of Botswana or with the various organisations involved and shall coincide with Vision 2016, the strategic plan Botswana set for herself in 1997.