Gender issues have occupied the front burner of educational discourse over the past decades. Cases of gender imbalance in education and the need to address the disparity have therefore attracted a lot of hype among scholars. Distance learning is known to have the capacity to take knowledge and training to the marginalised, isolated, underprivileged and the unreachable and consequently bridge disparity gap and redress imbalance. The study hints at the tenacity of distance learning and technology for gender mainstreaming. The study objectives aimed at identifying the information needs of distance learners in Botswana, determining how the information needs of distance learners are met, exploring the information resources and services available to distance learners in Botswana and identifying the challenges faced by distance learners in Botswana. Four distance teaching institutions involved in the study were the University of Botswana (UB), the University of Derby (UD), the University of South Africa (UNISA), and the Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA). The study adopted both qualitative and quantitative research design and a survey method. The empirical element of the study was conducted via questionnaire, with 20% sample size randomly selected from two institutions having 500 or more students and census method applied to the other two, with 100 or fewer students in Botswana. Using IBM-SPSS programme, cross-tabulations and chi-square, non-parametric statistical significance tests were developed to test the relationship of the gender grouping. Results revealed several gender differences in a number of areas for the attention of respective institutions of study to mainstream. Recommendations were made.
Olugbade Oladokun, University of Botswana, Botswana
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