An indigenous knowledge inspired teacher pilot mentoring scheme in Botswana: a proposal
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Teaching practice, which comprises a teaching internship and/or fieldwork undertaken by prospective teachers for an annual period of seven weeks, is an essential component of all the teacher education programmes offered at the University of Botswana’s Faculty of Education. The general aim of teaching practice is to introduce prospective teachers to real teaching situations and routines under the guidance of suitably qualified professionals. In view of changes such as semesterization, escalating enrolments and rising costs of teaching practice, which threaten to compromise quality, the paper argues that there is need to establish a school-based mentoring scheme that will provide the needed teaching supervision expertise at school level. The scheme will be informed by lessons from African customary education. Such a scheme will not be altogether new, as in the Botswana of yesterday, indigenous knowledge systems and institutions such as bogwera and bojale, the tribe, the kgotla and family formed the basis of creating and sustaining knowledge. Graduates from these institutions included traditional doctors, priests, teachers, nurses, legislators, economists and many other people of outstanding responsibility in their communities.