Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning

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The Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL) is a private provider located in Gaborone, Botswana that offers e-learning through Internet, CD-rom and Moodle, for secondary and further education.


BOCODOL was created by an Act of Parliament in December 1998. Its creation marked a milestone in the development of Education for Botswana and a significant step towards realising Botswanas Vision 2016, which emphasises the elimination of poverty through the provision of knowledge and skills.

The case for establishing a semi-autonomous distance teaching college was made by the National Commission on Education in 1993 (Recommendation number 87).

The learners learn from specially designed study materials, which use a combination of different types of media, methods and communication technologies. The college is also faced with the task of broadening types of courses it offers to include vocational, professional management and other programmes. Through collaboration with other regional open and distance learning institutions, BOCODOL has ventured into higher education: it has started offering two diploma level programmes.

BOCODOL has been formed to improve access to learning opportunities on a nation wide scale for the out of school young adults. Its mission is to provide quality, innovative, open and distance learning programmes and services to empower our clients with knowledge and skills for global competitiveness.

The College has, in addition to its Headquarters in Gaborone, five Regional offices in Gaborone, Francistown, Palapye, Maun and Kang that operate through study centres country-wide. It has a sister institution in Namibia: Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL)


The BOCODOL web site is at http://www.bocodol.ac.bw.


More Details

About 5,800 students were enrolled in 2009.

With more than 60% of its enrollees already having benefited from access to secondary school, but having been unsuccessful, BOCODOL can be considered as primarily complementary to the conventional school system insofar as its principal clientele and curriculum are concerned.

Source: Perspectives on Distance Education: Open Schooling in the 21st Century, Dominique A.M.X. Abrioux and Frances Ferreira, Vancouver: Commonwealth of Learning, 2009, http://www.col.org/PublicationDocuments/pub_PS_OpenSchooling_web.pdf, August 2011.


The School of Education currently offers Junior Certificate (JC) and Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) Courses.

Source: http://www.bocodol.ac.bw/PGContent.php?UID=608


The support services are facilitated through a network of adequately resourced learning centres, that is, places of study based in educational facilities that are within the communities.

  • Community Study Centres (CSCs): established where there are adequate resources in the vicinity, i.e. adequate number of learners to start the center (50 and above), enough tutors to appoint as center supervisor, tutors for various courses (22 currently-JC & BGCSE), a secondary school to tap these tutors from as well as to be used to host the learning center. There are three levels of study Centres: Level 1 a centre with a minimum of 50 learners up to 150. Level 2 has 150-300 learners while Level 3 has 301+ learners
  • Satellite Learning Centres operate from a primary school in a remote location where the primary school may be the highest level of education provision in the area. A satellite learning centre is formed by less than 50 learners. There are no weekly tutorials but weekend courses at selected times of the year.
  • Study Groups: are formed by smaller numbers of learners i.e. less than 10 in a local area to assist each other with their studies and have the potential to grow into a learning satellite or CSC during next enrolment. Learners join the satellite centres for tutorials during the weekend course.

A typical learning centre at school equivalency level runs tutorials weekly from Monday to Thursday at 1800 -2000 i.e. evening. For the certificate and Diploma level programmes, the tutorials are conducted during the weekends; both Saturday and Sunday at specified intervals commensurate with the course/programme.

Source: http://www.bocodol.ac.bw/PGContent.php?UID=644


BOCODOL was a case study for COL's publication: Perspectives on Distance Education: Open Schooling in the 21st Century.


References

  • Perspectives on Distance Education: Open Schooling in the 21st Century, Dominique A.M.X. Abrioux

and Frances Ferreira, Vancouver: Commonwealth of Learning, 2009, http://www.col.org/PublicationDocuments/pub_PS_OpenSchooling_web.pdf, August 2011.



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