Missionary wives, women and education: the development of literacy among the Batswana 1840-1937
PublisherResearch and Development Unit, University of Botswana
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This paper is about the introduction of western education by Missionaries in Africa. These European Missionaries left their homes for religius reasons, to convert the "heathens" to the christian religion. Convertion to christian religion faced many hurdles like language barriers, cultural beliefs and that the people to be converted were illiterate. The converts to be had to be taught how to read and write to be able to interpret the bible. The education offered by Missionaries was tended to be scriptural in nature because the intended converts were supposed to read and understandthe great book of God - the Bible. Emphasis was on religious studies. Missionaries targeted African leaders such as Chiefs in their endeavor to convert and also to introduce western education. Once the leaders were convinced and converted in the new religion and education, they would influence the dissemination of the new faith to their groups or tribes. Western education was introduced in the manner such as described above among Batswana. The Missionaries who introduced western education and christianity were members of the London Missiory Society (LMS) formed in 1795 and these were Dr. Robert Moffat and Dr. Livingstone.