POTENTIALS FOR THE BOTSWANA BASIC EDUCATION:
AbstractChina has intensified its relationship with African countries through the China-Africa Universities 20 + 20 Cooperation Plan established in Egypt in 2011. A collaboration between University of Botswana (UB) and Shanghai Normal University (SHNU) was established as a result. Given the challenges that Basic Education in Botswana is faced with, Six Botswana teachers (four primary and two junior secondary) from selected schools and two UB academics visited SHNU on a benchmarking exercise and research collaboration on why Shanghai schools were excelling in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). For its methodology, a qualitative approach to data collection was adopted to investigate the Shanghai secret to teaching and learning. Data collection was done through the Botswana team engaging in focus group discussions with teachers, SHNU academics, education officers and policy makers. Classroom obervations were also conducted on education innovations, actual teaching and learning in different schools ranging from kindergarten to high school. The findings revealed a variety of strategies contributing to Shanghai education excellence ranging from the use of teacher research groups, discipline, good classroom management practices, peer assessment and team planning. This paper recommends that if these strategies could be adopted and /or adapted in local schools in Botswana, academic performance could be improved.