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Educational attainment, Botswana

Codes and Frequencies

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EDUCBW indicates the person's educational attainment in Botswana in terms of the level of schooling completed.

Comparability — General

The basic education in Botswana is composed of 7 years of primary, 3 years of junior (lower) secondary, and 2 or 3 years of senior (upper) secondary education. Most persons graduate from senior secondary education in two years; however, some of the schools following the British curriculum offer a senior secondary of three years (GCE A-levels examinations are taken at the end of Form 6).

Non-formal education is equivalent to the formal primary and it is oriented to youths or adults who dropped out of primary school.

Vocational and technical studies are offered after either junior or senior secondary, which include apprenticeships and brigade programs. In addition, the Botswana Technical Education Program (BTEP), created in 2001, is offered in government technical colleges to students who completed either junior or senior secondary.

Higher education in Botswana comprises mostly undergraduate programs. Professional and career studies last one year and lead to a certificate; for example, certificates, diplomas, and degrees obtained from the Institute of Health Sciences. Programs leading to a diploma last 2 to 3 years and bachelor's degree programs last 4-5 years. At the graduate level, post-graduate diploma courses can take one year; master's degrees can take 3 to 6 semesters on a full-time basis; and doctorate degrees last 6 to 8 semesters in a full-time basis.

The preschool level and non-formal education are only identified in 2001 and 2011. In 2001, information about post-secondary studies is inferred from a separate question about training, which includes vocational, technical, and university studies.

The 2011 sample includes vocational and technical programs (not available in other samples) and more detail about university studies. EDUCBW retains the level and grade within level for post-secondary education, but additional information can be found in the corresponding unharmonized source variable for this sample. In 2011, apprenticeships and brigade diplomas or certificates are classified as "technical or vocational, less than 1 year." For higher comparability with previous samples, the different programs offered at universities are collapsed under "university" (undergraduate or graduate) and classified according to the number of years completed.

The universe for this variable expanded over time: it included present residents aged 5 years or more in 1981 and 1991, while it comprised persons aged 2 years or more in 2001 and 2011.


  • Botswana 1981: Present residents age 5+
  • Botswana 1991: Present residents age 5+
  • Botswana 2001: Persons age 2+ except institutionalized non-residents
  • Botswana 2011: Persons age 2+ except institutionalized non-residents


  • Botswana: 1981, 1991, 2001, 2011