2019 Public Expenditure Review of the Basic Education Sector in Botswana

How the Government of Botswana is investing in basic education

UNICEF Botswana


Botswana’s social sector expenditures is generous and education expenditure relative to GDP is among the highest in the world, with significant increases in recent years. Spending on universities and bursaries is high relative to those on basic education and technical and vocational education, so allocative efficiency remains an important issue. Almost 90 per cent of the basic education budget is spent on salaries and other recurrent costs, which leaves very little funding for improving learning outcomes and for educating the most disadvantaged students, including early childhood development and efforts to support or provide access to out-of-school children. The quality of education and transition rates to junior and secondary education are still far from satisfactory, with high levels of repetition and dropping out. This suggests serious inefficiencies within the education sector. Moreover, there is still significant variation across the country in both access and performance, raising critical questions about equity of access to quality education.

The overall objective of the Botswana Basic Education Sector Public Expenditure Review (PER) is to investigate public spending on basic education and whether it contributes in the most efficient way to the desired educational outcomes of providing quality education that meets the needs of the society and the labour market. Specifically, the PER is intended to: (i) assess the adequacy and sustainability of public spending in the education sector; (ii) assess the efficiency and effectiveness in the use of these resources; (iii) assess the equity of education expenditure and whether it protects disadvantaged and vulnerable populations; (iv) assess the key management and governance issues facing the education sector; and (v) provide policy recommendations.

Cover page Basic Education PER
Government of Botswana, The World Bank, UNICEF
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