QUEEN ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso has urged parents and guardians to play a greater role in their children’s education to ensure their cognitive development.
Addressing Global Day of Parents commemorations held at Matlameng Primary School in Leribe on Thursday, Her Majesty said parents and guardians should involve themselves in their children’s education regardless of their material circumstances.
Global Day of Parents is observed annually on 1 June and was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012 to honour parents throughout the world.
The commemorations were organised by World Vision Lesotho (WVL) and the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to acknowledge the important role parents play in the up-bringing of children, particularly in providing support for their education.
Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso said a survey conducted by WVL and MOET on children’s literacy in Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek had revealed that most learners had low reading skills.
“The results of the survey showed that the children’s reading capability was very low. For example, it was discovered that only 14 percent of children from Kota Area Development Programme (ADP) in Leribe district can read well. These children were 11-years-old.
“Only 17 percent of Makhunoane ADP learners in Butha-Buthe could read well, and only seven percent of the students in Matlameng ADP Leribe could read,” Her Majesty said.
Among the reasons for the low literacy rate, Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso said, was the low involvement of parents in their children’s education.
“Children of parents who are not playing their role in monitoring their educational development were lagging behind.”
Her Majesty said WVL had tried to address the challenge by introducing reading camps which involve parents so they can participate in their children’s education.
“I wish to encourage parents who support their children through reading camps to spread the word on their importance so that the whole country can benefit. I must add that this strategy has proven to be effective in areas outside Leribe.”
For her part, WVL Southern Africa Regional Leader Rudo Kwaramba said lack of parental support hindered children from fulfilling their educational potential.
She said children in the reading camps were mentored by community members who had been trained in literacy improvement.
“We have also introduced Citizens Voice and Action (CVA), a social accountability advocacy model aimed at empowering communities to enable them to dialogue with government officials, service providers and policy makers in order to lobby for improved quality services,” Ms Kwaramba said.
“The engagement with parents and children through CVA has increased the level of awareness on their rights as well as responsibilities with respect to education.”
She added: “I want to appeal once again to parents to realise the critical role they play in the protection of their children and in their educational endeavours so they become citizens that Lesotho can be proud of.”