Gaborone - Post Report Question and Answers
What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
I have no direct experience but everyone said the high school was not good. - Jul 2019
Schools are a big problem in Botswana. If you are with the U.S. mission you should contact the State Department Office of Overseas Schools before you decide to come here.
There have been improvements and if you're involved, your children can have a good education here. There are options. Find the right match for your kid and apply. The facilities are much poorer than any international school you've ever seen. They are much more "local" than international. (There are some good things about that.) Teachers are often poorly trained in things like classroom management. All schools struggle with attracting and keeping international teachers. Still, this need not be a deal breaker. You can make it work. You just have to work a lot with your kids and the school. - Jul 2016
There is an international school here (Westwood) that nearly every parent of school aged children seems unsatisfied with, and there's been little to no effort to get Embassy children into the other two "good" schools (Northside and Thornhill). Re: Westwood, I've heard reports ranging from general lack of satisfaction with academic rigor to bullying and borderline verbal abuse by teachers. Thankfully, I have no experience with this. If my kids were school aged, we would likely be home schooling. - Mar 2015
None. There is one school that proclaims to be international school and were everybody goes to but the education is not good. All schools are not up to the USA standards and this post should be declared as not suitable for school age kids. Some families homeschool, others have sent kids to boarding school. Our kids go to a local Christian school, it's still not optimal, but better than the "international" school. - Oct 2014
There are two main international schools that children of U.S. Embassy personnel attend. The common complaint is that the academic programs are lacking and not rigorous enough for many children, and that as a result students are behind their counterparts in U.S. public schools. That said, some students graduate from the IB program, so they do have that program here. - Jul 2013
My experience was with Reception and Standard 1. There are 3 or 4 main schools at the primary level: Northside (way overbooked), Thornhill (very British) and Westwood. We were very happy at Westwood, and most parents are happy with the school choice for the younger levels. Secondary students are less happy with the school quality. - Apr 2013
The Westwood International School is approved by the State Department for K-12.Many parents seem happy with the school. You should note however that the school is on a British/South African schedule -- the year begins in January and there are three terms, with a break of about one month between them. Friends are also very happy with the local Northside and Thornhill primary schools, as well as the Maru-a-pula secondary school. Both Westwood and Maru-a-pula offer the International Baccalaureate program for high schoolers. All these schools have websites if you need more information. - Jun 2010