Reading comprehension skills of Standard 4 pupils: a comparison of private and public schools in Botswana

Rose Letsholo-Tafila, Moyosure M Alimi


This paper compares the reading comprehension of standard  4 pupils in four primary schools, two public and two private schools in urban and rural settings in Botswana. Using a standard comprehension test administered to the pupils, the study answers two main questions: Are there significant differences between the comprehension abilities of (a) public and private school pupils, (b) rural and urban private school pupils, and (c) urban and rural public school pupils? What are the implications of the differential abilities for the pupils’ academic success? The findings show that the private school pupils performed better and that the urban private school pupils were better at extracting information and making inferences, while the rural private school pupils were better at interpreting information. The study underscores three areas of need: enhancing learning environment in public schools, building a strong foundation for critical/analytical reasoning and maintaining reasonable class size.


reading comprehension, constructivism, critical thinking, inferencing, private schools, public schools

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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