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Minister hails Fokothi turnaround


Pascalinah Kabi

EDUCATION and Training Minister, Motlalentoa Letsosa has called upon the incoming 5th Lerotholi Polytechnic governing council to emulate its predecessor in broadening the human capital base that is critical for the country’s socio-economic development.

Speaking at the recent inauguration ceremony of the 5th council in Maseru, Mr Letsosa said the 4th council had made huge strides during its impressive three year tenure despite numerous challenges which almost resulted in the collapse of the institution.

“The collapse of Lerotholi Polytechnic was imminent when they entered office three years ago with the threat of liquidation haunting us and student deaths were rife,” Mr Letsosa said, adding, “Outright mismanagement was the norm among academic and non-academic staff while performance levels were consistently declining”.

He said the institution was only saved by the firm and professional dedication of the outgoing council which normalised the situation.

“I am reliably informed that academic performance levels during the tenure of the 4th council improved tremendously, particularly in the School of Enterprise Management,” he said.

He said it was encouraging that the incoming council was assuming office at a time when no student died in the last academic year; saying that it was the council’s duty to maintain the tranquility the school enjoyed.

“These are some of the successes of the 4th council that I would like the incoming council to strive to outperform,” Mr Letsosa said, adding “also encouraging is the fact that the management is continuing to make good the debt that Lerotholi Polytechnic owes the Lesotho Revenue Authority.”



He said such was the positive turnaround that the incoming council is taking over an institution that is poised to become the hub of e-governance for all government ministries and departments through its Information Technology (IT) Centre funded by the Indian government.

He said the IT Centre would soon come into operation.

He said the country could only improve the lives of Basotho through the kind of human capital development spearheaded by institutions such as Lerotholi Polytechnic.

“Your other assignment is stakeholder engagement from the moment students register at this institution until they graduate.

“Our socio-economic success is dependent on high standards of knowledge production, knowledge management and its preservation by the local higher education institutions,” Mr Letsosa said.

Mr Letsosa also advised the council to forge collaborations with renowned international institutions of higher education and also stressed the need for students and lecturers to engage in meaningful local and international exchange programmes.

He also said the council’s “challenge is to effectively implement the Lerotholi Polytechnic Strategic Development Plan, which is being developed, alongside the Education Sector Strategic Plan of 2016 t0 2026,” he said.

He said his priorities for the higher education sub-sector for the current financial year were: development and adherence to cost saving mechanisms, promotion of income-generating initiatives, curriculum review to address the needs of industry and empower the marginalised groups in society as well as accountability and prudent financial management.

Lerotholi Polytechnic offers programmes that include Diploma in Architectural Technology, Building Technology, Civil Engineering, Water and Environmental Engineering, as well as Certificate in Carpentry and Joinery.

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