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Education ministry hails Chinese support

by Sunday Express
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Mohalenyane Phakela

THE Deputy Minister of Education and Training, ‘Maphoka Motoboli, and education officials have commended the Chinese business community for their efforts in support of the country’s education sector.

This follows the latest donation of M50 000 by the China-Lesotho People-to-People Action Fund which will be used to fund the education of 50 students from 13 different secondary and high schools in the district of Qacha’s Nek.

The donation was held at Patlong High School. Patlong will get five scholarships from the Chinese plus another two worth M2 000 from the Qacha’s Nek legislator, ‘Matumelo Sekatle of the opposition Democratic Congress party.

The Action Fund also constructed new toilets for Patlong High School to replace the old and dilapidated ones.

Addressing the gathering, Ms Motoboli expressed gratitude to the Chinese, saying their support to Lesotho in different sectors especially in the education sector, “will never go unnoticed”.

“China assists Lesotho in various ways but at this moment I would like to commend the support in the education sector as education is a greatest gift of all,” Ms Motoboli said.

“We are witnesses to this generous gesture by the Chinese community who found it necessary to uplift the education sector in Qacha’s Nek.

“To you beneficiaries, I hope this assistance will encourage you to work harder and pass with flying colours. I will also keep tabs on your performance.”

For his part, the Action Fund representative, Gou Berry Jingxin, said the Fund was established by Chinese businessmen in Lesotho with the aim of assisting in the alleviation of socio-economic challenges faced by Basotho.

“Our goal is to work with Basotho to fight poverty through education, infrastructure development and agriculture while also enhancing the bilateral relations between the two nations.

“We hope this donation will motivate the students to work harder. We are here to help Basotho and our door is always open,” Mr Gou said.

The Chinese ambassador to Lesotho, Sun Xianghua, concurred with Mr Gou, adding that the donations were one of the strategies of enhancing cooperation between the two countries.

“Education is the wisest investment and the schools are the cradles for talent. Only with good education can a country compete with other countries in terms of human resource capital hence China’s decision to attach great importance to enhancing education and training cooperation with Lesotho.

“China is the largest provider of training opportunities and scholarships to Lesotho as every year more than 300 Basotho undergo training in China.

“Cooperation between National University of Lesotho with some Chinese universities is being explored. Apart from that, the Chinese community is Lesotho has been mobilised to contribute more to the education cause of Lesotho as every year more than 260 Basotho students receive tuition fee assistance from the Action Fund,” Dr Xianghua said.

Patlong High School principal, ‘Mamakhoathi Teke, expressed gratitude, for the donations and the support her school receives from the local Chinese supermarket.

“We are grateful for the help as we were in dire need of new toilets which we could not afford due to budget constraints.  The beneficiaries of the bursaries will now perform to the best of their ability as they will no longer worry about being expelled from school from unpaid fees.

“The school is struggling and when we cannot afford groceries to feed the children, we are often given food on credit by the nearby Chinese supermarket whose has also assisted us on this day. Through these many generous gestures, I hope people will realise and acknowledge a true friend we have in China.”

The school’s board as well as the district education officials echoed similar sentiments saying the help will go a long way. Ms Sekatle also thanked the Action Fund and further asked them to assist in the construction of a borehole at the school.

The students showed their gratitude through various songs and performances in praise of the Action Fund.

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