Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity in Religious Education Textbooks: A Case of Junior Secondary Schools in Botswana

Baamphatlha Dinama

Abstract


This qualitative study investigated the extent to which the junior secondary schools religious education textbooks used in Botswana promote cultural sensitivity and diversity. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from participants who were purposively sampled in three selected junior secondary schools in an urban setting. The results revealed that religious education textbooks are perceived to be culturally insensitive and deemed to promote the dominant cultures. In fact, religious education textbooks marginalise the cultures of the ethnic minorities which is a reflection of political and social orientations of nation building project which propagates the cultures of the dominant ethnic groups. In addition, the textbook prescription guidelines are somehow ambivalent since they are not clearly articulated hence subject to abuse. The study concluded by suggesting a review of the curriculum which is presently assimilationist, examination-oriented and largely influences how religious education textbooks are written. Textbook writers need to access credible sources as they engage in the writing of textbooks.

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