Flea market voices on literacy in Botswana
This paper presents the views of some flea market vendors and clients, especially those whose voices are never heard, on the literacy and education issues that affect Botswana. Although small, the sample of respondents used for this study is representative of the kinds of people that populate flea markets. However, a large percentage of the respondents are male, thus indicating that male voices are dominant even in this setting. The findings of the study, which are similar to those in the literacy literature on Botswana, include the following: children lack interest in reading; parents have not been involved in their children’s reading development; and there are inadequate library and other resources to support a reading culture in Botswana. Some respondents advocate direct teaching of reading to their children, procuring reading materials for them and sending them to good private schools as ways of improving their children’s reading. Overall, the study shows that there is need to complement the top-down approach with the bottom-up approach, as there are valuable lessons policy makers can glean from canvassing the views of those in non-traditional government structures such as the flea markets.