Developing an indigenous model of crisis-sensitive educational leadership in Botswana

PI: Prof Bolelang Pheko, University of Botswana

UoB collaborator: Dr Rafael Mitchell (Education)

Summary

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government of Botswana has closed schools intermittently since March 2020, and issued directives relating to washing, face masks and social distancing in line with World Health Organisation guidance. As a middle-income country, Botswana does not experience the same levels of external involvement in its education system as many countries in the region, from UN agencies, the World Bank and other global policy actors. School leaders have also received quite limited central guidance from the government over this period of disruption, and there has been no national research to understand school-level priorities and responses since the start of the pandemic. This study addresses this gap through fieldwork in four sites from two educational regions. This will engage school communities across the country, using an indigenous research methods approach (Chilisa 2012). The study aims to develop an indigenous model of crisis-sensitive educational leadership in Botswana which can inform education, training and support for those involved in school leadership. Since knowledge production on education in crises is dominated by Northern-based international agencies, this study is a valuable opportunity to strengthen the evidence base and contribute to global understandings in this area through African-led research.