The aim of this study is to investigate the probable adaptability problems Afrikaans speaking pupils experience in the international, multicultural, private schools of Botswana and how these problems concerning adaptability can have an influence on their academic success. Over the last forty years Botswana has made name for itself as the most stable country in Africa. Here is no dictators craving for power, no poverty because of mismanagement and no violent oppression or unconstitutional behavior visible. On the contrary, since the country became independent in 1966, it only knew the road to prosperity. When the country became independent there was only eight kilometers of tarred road found in the whole of Botswana. Today the main routes don’t have to stand back one step for those found in South Africa. The local currency, the Pula, is stronger than the rand and there is less crime as what is the case in South Africa as well as much less visible poverty. Al the facts mentioned above are only a few reasons why Botswana became an attractive refuge, close but still outside the borders of South Africa, for so many South African citizens. Approximately 80% of all the companies found in the capital, Gaborone have South African roots. Since 1990 the number of South Africans that relocated to Botswana has tripled. Education plays a very important role in the prosperity of Botswana and the country spends in the vicinity of 22% of its annual budget on education. Because of the huge influx of foreigners, especially over the last ten years, a number of international, English medium, private schools were founded. In the past, these English medium schools provided mostly education for foreign learners. The current tendency is however that more and more local learners start attending especially the secondary, private schools because of the international curriculums these schools offer. Afrikaans speaking learners coming from Afrikaans medium schools in South Africa are faced with definite problems concerning adapting when they visit the international, multicultural private schools of Botswana for the first time. The four most important concepts identified in the study were the international education environment of the multicultural, private schools in Botswana, multicultural education, and the concepts culture and milieu-handicapped. The problems concerning adaptability experienced by Afrikaans speaking pupils are mostly found on the social- and cultural domains as well as adapting to the new medium of education. There are several factors, internally as well as externally from the school environment identified which can play a leading role in the successful adaptation of these learners. The social- en psychological development of the child as well as the style of education portrayed by the parents can both play a leading role in the successful adaptation of these learners. Factors that can all contribute to a more or less extend to the successful social adaptation of Afrikaans speaking pupils include the role of the school, community, peer group, church and media. Concerning the successful cultural adaptation of Afrikaans speaking pupils several factors are identified. These include cultural differentiation, cultural integration, cultural continuity, cultural relativity, cultural pluralism, the philosophy of life concerning culture, the economic technical cultural domain, the social welfare cultural domain as well as the spiritual cultural domain. Lastly the study looked at the adaptation regarding the medium of education Afrikaans speaking pupils face. Factors which play a role here include the differences of the language spoken at school, in the home and in the community as well as the influence language and culture have. The successful social- and cultural adaptation and adaptation regarding the medium of education of Afrikaans speaking pupils can all contribute to the successful academic performance of these learners. A poor academic record, limited intellectual possibilities, unfavorable personality characteristics, inadequate study methods as well as school migration can contribute to the successful academic performance of Afrikaans speaking pupils. By means of a comprehensive study of literature the factors which can play a role in the adaptation of Afrikaans speaking pupils in the international, multicultural, private schools are in detail examined and discussed. An empiric investigation, where both the Afrikaans speaking pupils and their parents played a part, was done after the study of literature. The investigation proofs that Afrikaans speaking pupils do suffer from adaptation problems and are mostly experienced in the cultural domain. Continuing research in the field of adaptation problems of Afrikaans speaking pupils, not only in Botswana but globally, should be undertaken. With the huge number of South Africans leaving South Africa this research can be a source of information to both parents and learners alike.
Thesis (PhD (Curriculum Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2005.