Philosophy, History & School Background
Okavango International School opened nine years ago with the mission “to inspire, build and launch people through faith, integrity, relationships and excellence that will purify, transform and ignite individuals to impact their world.”
It strives to develop young men and women of strong character and positive values – who also strive at all times to maximize their academic potential and obtain solid exam results. The gospel of Christ is the school’s inspiration. Students are encouraged to put their faith into action by helping other and in projects in the Maun community.
‘Launching Leaders’ is the motto of the school. It is the belief that inspired Christian based leadership – whether it be in the church, politics, the public service, education, community groups or indeed the family – has a major impact on the community, nation and world at large. The training of students in leadership, with the inculcation of strong values, and their launching and sending forth, will have a major impact on wherever they work or whichever structure or organization they aspire to lead.
The school offers a strong academic programme right the way from pre-primary through to Form Five and the IGCSE and will move into ‘A levels’ soon. The school is a registered University of Cambridge Examination Centre.
The student body is a truly international mix with 65% Batswana, and the other 35% drawn from African, European, Asian countries and the USA. The teaching staff is made up of a similar mix.
There are boarding houses for students from all over the country. A family atmosphere prevails with clear and positive discipline within a culture of mutual respect and student self governance.
Boarding students attend a vibrant Christian-based youth programme called “Fire by Night” every Friday evening where a different youth-friendly topic or activity features every week. Boarders join with many of the day students and students from secondary schools in Maun. The school also participates fully in the “Reach for Life” outreach youth programme run by Love Botswana which emphasizes positive living, abstinence and the making of right choices.
The school is owned by the Love Botswana Outreach mission established by Pastors Jerry and Jana Lackey. It was Pastor Jerry’s mother, Pat Lackey, who started the forerunner school of Okavango International School – Ngamiland Christian Academy – in the early 1990’s. The Mission runs the All Nations Village Church where boarders and many of the day students and their families form part of the large congregation.
The various mission departments impact strongly on the lives of the students. Interns from around the world come to the school on a regular basis and these work with the students in a variety of different capacities, adding to the students’ world view and international perspective.
A Life Centre is currently being built by the Mission which among other things will include a 1000-seat auditorium, cinema, gymnasium, library, meeting and recreational rooms. All facilities will be at the disposal of the OIS students.
The school is also blessed with access to a delightful environmental resource in the form of Royal Tree Lodge. This is a Game Lodge of international standard, ideally situated not far from Maun and was donated to the mission so proceeds from it can be used to support its many activities. The facility is open to the school for environmental teaching, as well as a retreat or workshop centre.