The literacy rate for the population aged between 10-70 in Botswana has gone up by nearly 10 percent, a survey has indicated.
The Literacy Survey 2014 shows that there is an increase from an estimated 76.6 percent rate in 2003 to 86.5 percent to date in the age group.
Jointly conducted by Statistics Botswana and the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, the survey says the literacy rate for the population aged 15 -65 increased from 81.2 percent in 2003 to 88.6 percent. The survey results were published this week.
“The literacy rate was highest among the population aged 15-19 years at 97.8 percent. Within this group, the male literacy rate was estimated at 97.6 percent, while the female rate was estimated at 97.9 percent,” the survey report says.
The survey found literacy rates were generally higher for females than males up to the age of 50 when male literacy is slightly higher.
“As has been observed in the past, the literacy rates were higher for females as compared with those of males.
The study estimated the female literacy rate for the population aged 10-70 years at 87.3 percent compared to 85.7 percent for males this commitment has resulted in improved adult 15-65 years literacy rate over the past three decades; from 68.9 percent in 1993 to 81.2 percent in 2003 and 88.6 percent in 2014,” the survey says.
The highest literacy rates for the population aged 10-70 were recorded in predominantly urban districts. The survey states that the highest rates were recorded in Gaborone at 97.7 percent, Orapa at 97.1 percent, Lobatse at 96.6 percent, Sowa with 96.3 percent and Jwaneng at 95.6 percent.
The predominantly rural and sparsely populated areas of Ghanzi and Central Mahalapye recorded the lowest literacy rates for the population aged 10-70 at 73.4 percent and 78.4 percent respectively.
Only 8.9 percent of the population aged 10 and above had never attended any form of school, says the report, representing a decrease of 1.8 percent from 10.7 percent in 2003. The percentage of the population aged 15-24 in 2014 who had never attended school was at 1.9 percent while those in the 15-65 years age group and 25 years and above were at 6.6 percent and 13.3 percent respectively.
It is worth noting that the economic activity and unemployment aspect of the survey recorded a lower degree of Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) at 64.3 percent, as compared to the 2013 Botswana Aids Impact Survey (BAIS) IV (69.6 percent). The LFPR reflects the extent to which a country’s working age group is economically active.
“For both surveys, participation rate in economic activity is high for young adults, and then gradually declines at older ages.
There has been some rise in the employed population, as compared to 2013 BAIS IV, from 720,296 to 740,014 in 2014,” the study says.
The survey states that the main employers were in the agricultural sector at 21.8 percent, followed by public administration with 19.3 percent, wholesale and retail trade with 12.9 percent, real estate with 8.2 percent and construction with 5.9 percent.
“It is worth noting that females dominated in wholesale and trade, hotels and restaurants, finance, health, private households and local government while males dominated in Agriculture, mining, electricity and water, construction, manufacturing, real estate and transport and communications,” the survey found out.