Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Crackdown on illegal schools long overdue

LAST week’s crackdown on illegal schools was simply long overdue.

When parliament passed into law the Education Act 2010 this newspaper was at the forefront in congratulating the government.

We believed and still believe the Education Act 2010 is one of the most progressive pieces of legislation ever passed by the government.

The law, among other things, makes it an offence not to send one’s children to school.

In a country that often sees children being forced to skip school to perform family chores, this law will seek to reverse this unfortunate scenario.

We also believe the new law will certainly bring order in Lesotho’s often chaotic education sector.

The sheer lawlessness that had been allowed to go on in that key sector needed to be stopped.

We had unregistered schools employing unqualified teachers who had no clue what they were supposed to do in the classrooms.

We had school children being forced to learn under conditions that were almost medieval without proper ablution facilities.

Some of these schools did not have proper classrooms, forcing children to learn under less than ideal conditions.

Because they were not registered education officers, who are supposed to enforce and monitor standards, could not assess these schools.

As a result standards plummeted.

There were also reports of school authorities disappearing with students’ examination fees without trace.

These schools were not answerable to anyone. They were a law unto themselves.

We cannot over-emphasise the importance of education.

We all know the future of this country rests on the shoulders of its school teachers.

Lesotho can therefore not afford to play Russian roulette with its education system.

We expect schools to produce students who are in line with the country’s developmental needs.

This country is in serious need of engineers, medical doctors and other professionals.

We can only produce such professionals if our basic education system is not compromised.

This is why the government must keep a close eye on what is going on in schools dotted around the country.

We cannot understand why these schools defied the clear order not to re-open in January.

Such wilful defiance of the law should find no sympathisers among law-abiding Basotho.

We also think the monitoring of what is going on in the education sector should not be a once-off event.

We need constant surveillance to ensure schools employ the right personnel and that standards are not being compromised.

We believe the new Education Act is a brilliant piece of legislation.

The challenge, as always, will be in the implementation.

The key is in ensuring all schools adhere to the basic minimum requirements.

Comments are closed.