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King wants unemployment declared national crisis


Billy Ntaote

Law Professor, Nqosa Mahao, was inaugurated the ninth vice-chancellor of the National University of Lesotho (NUL) during a colourful ceremony held at the varsity yesterday.

Professor Mahao, who assumed office on 20 November 2014, succeeded America’s Sharon Siverts, who served the university from 2011 to 2013.

NUL Chancellor, King Letsie III, who was the key speaker at the ceremony, said Professor Mahao faced the daunting task of ensuring the university’s graduates do not end up languishing at home without jobs.

The King said: “Unemployment should be declared a national crisis to be addressed vigorously and systematically at all levels and from all angles.

“It has almost become the norm that graduates stay unemployed for at least four years despite the huge investment the country puts in their education.

“The question which should be posed and answered is why our graduates are finding it difficult to find employment. We may never know the answer to this question unless we undertake a robust and holistic investigative study into the matter.”

His Majesty further appealed for the university’s programmes to be market-driven in order to “bridge the gap between what is taught in the classroom and the realities of employment”.

The King added he had been reliably informed that Professor Mahao had since been working on turning around the fortunes of the university and return it to its former glory.

On his part, Professor Mahao said he understood the huge task he faced in making NUL a respected institution once again.

“God-permitting, I undertake to do the best I can in leading the way for the National University of Lesotho to re-claim its place of honour among the global community of institutions of higher learning.

“Plucking NUL out of its current temporary adversities may indeed be a tall order, but it is certainly not an insurmountable task if all stakeholders march side by side on this mission,” he said.

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