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Conducting Assemblies in Botswana Public Schools.

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In this paper, the author explored the teachers' experiences and their views regarding how assemblies are conducted in Botswana public schools. The author indicates that assemblies are a common feature in Botswana primary and secondary schools. The author adopted the Christian Privilege as the conceptual framework as espoused by Blumenfeld (2006) that the Christian religion is given an undue favor in various social institutions including schools, yet Botswana is a liberal democracy according to its constitution. The study drew on interviews from 18 in-service RE (religious education) teachers at the UB (University of Botswana)--Nine of the participants were primary school teachers, while the other nine were secondary school teachers. The sampled teachers were unhappy with worship in assemblies and were not aware of the conscience clause in the Botswana Constitution and Education Act which allows freedom to worship or not. The author concluded that collective worship is contestable since it emphasizes conformity, conversion and the promotion of the Christian religion and its values, hence making teachers uncomfortable especially those who are not Christians and those who do not practice religion. The author suggested that worship should be taken out of the school assembly and replaced by religiously neutral activities.

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Author:Baamphatlha, Dinama
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:6BOTS
Date:Jan 1, 2011
Words:270
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