Ministry targets unregistered schools
THE Ministry of Education and Training has embarked on a sensitisation campaign to warn parents about the consequences of enrolling their children at unregistered schools.
The exercise, which is currently focused on villages in the Maseru and Berea districts, seeks to highlight the dangers of unregistered pre-schools, primary and secondary schools on children’s educational development.
According to the Ministry of Education and Training’s Public Relations Officer, Mamolise Falatsa, the campaign would soon be expanded countrywide. Ms Falatsa added it had come to the ministry’s attention that children attending such schools were lagging behind their counterparts at regular institutions since the quality of their education was compromised.
“Some of these schools have been operating illegally since 1997 while for others, the operating time was not even disclosed during our investigations,” Ms Falatsa said.
“In some cases, the schools were not legally registered while others didn’t meet the legal requirements needed for registration.”
The ministry’s previous efforts urging the school operators to register proved futile, she said.
“They chose to ignore the request and continued to operate their schools illegally. We then decided to take a different approach by engaging the public so they become aware of the negative impact of unregistered schools to their children’s education,” said Ms Falatsa.
“They need to know the consequences so they won’t regret in future when we shut the schools down or complain that they didn’t know the schools were not registered.”
She further said the unregistered schools were unable to access the new syllabus in 2013 at the National Curriculum Development Centre “because they “didn’t have the right to it”.
“We have trained teachers from all the registered schools but the teachers from their schools are not trained so they couldn’t get the syllabus,” Ms Falatsa said.
She emphasised the importance of registration, which she said was to ensure the applicants had the capacity to operate an educational institution.
“We also need to establish if it is not a fly-by-night school that we may wake up the next day and find closed down.
“Any school that does not comply after these awareness campaigns will be closed down for good,” Ms Falatsa said.
According to Ms Falatsa, plans were afoot for registered schools to absorb students who would have left the unregistered ones.
Ms Falatsa further remarked that the illegal schools did not have centre numbers needed during examinations and resorted to bribes for their students to write examinations at registered schools.
“Some parents who are not educated themselves and also lack information on what good education means end up making bad choices for their children,” she said.
“Parents have the option of free primary education but instead, opt for these expensive unregistered schools which irreparably compromise their children’s education.”