This paper discusses a qualitative case study that used ethnophenomenological methods to develop an improved understanding of the problems of school retention in basic education among some rural ethnic minority communities in Botswana. Theories of ethnocentrism and postcolonialism were applied to interrogate the emerging issues. This study argues that nation-state social policies contribute to the development of identities that cause ethnocultural stereotypes and prejudices. These constructs influence the people’s action and behaviour which affect school retention. It also argues that the pedagogy of the school transmits cultural stereotypes and prejudices that reinforce ethnocultural and ethnolingual hegemonies and traditions that contribute to negative self-image in the minds of children from indigenous minority communities. The study recommends a review of Botswana’s social policies and improvement of school pedagogy to improve retention in the basic education programme.