UBotho, Botho, Kgotla

The theme of this site 'UBotho ODL' stands for University of Botswana's Online Tools and Heuristics for Organising ODL (Open and Distance Learning). The embedded term 'Botho' is one of the tenets of African culture and represents a social contract of mutual respect, responsibility and accountability that members of society have toward each other; one earns respect by respecting and empowering others. The concept of this site aims to adhere to and to promote the Botho Principles in order to enrich the SGS programme portfolio in the context of the rich and multi-ethnic heritage of Botswana and Africa. It manifests UB’s commitments to the culturally embedded concept of diversity in people and ideas and to contribute to sustainable institutional and national knowledge and development in the context of Botswana's Vision 2016. It enhances the educational experience inside and outside the lecture theater to fulfill the vision of learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live together as equals with others which adds to the sense of pride of UB’s students and their communities and inspires the Botswana society to further interweave social, economic, political, cultural, educational threads together into a common tapestry. It aims also to attract resident and incoming scholars to participate in SGS’s mission, projects, programmes, and research in order to generate added value for all stakeholders involved in UB’s academic and corporate relationships.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (16.07.2009): A Kgotla is a public meeting, community council or traditional law court of a Botswana village. It is usually headed by the village chief or headman, and community decisions are always arrived at by consensus. Anyone at all is allowed to speak, and no one may interrupt while someone is "having their say". In fact there is a Setswana saying that the highest form of war is dialogue (ntwa kgolo ke ya molomo). Because of this tradition, Botswana claims to be one of the world's oldest democracies.

The custom of allowing everyone their full say is carried over into meetings of all kinds, from discussing a bill to a staff briefing, and can mean meetings last many hours. Kgotla can also refer to the place where such meetings are held. This can range from a few chairs under a shade canopy to a permanent ground with covered seating. In both senses, the term is a loan word in Botswana English from Setswana, where it means court. In South African English, a Lekgotla is a meeting called by government to discuss strategy planning. The term is a loan word from Sesotho, again meaning court.

This is the page in the public UBotho site which represents a Kgotla and where visitors can "have their say" to give feedback regarding SGS's UBotho Web Site and Activities (coming soon).