THE Minister of Education and Training, Ntoi Rapapa has rubbished allegations that government has supplied eighth grade high school learners with textbooks that contain sexually explicit content.
The ministry recently began distributing textbooks to government-owned schools across the country to address the acute shortage of learning materials.
But the exercise has marred in controversy with widespread allegations that some of the textbooks were containing inappropriate sexually explicit content. Social media was abuzz with many people posting and condemning a snapshot of what was said to be an extract from learners’ social sciences textbooks which were distributed to schools.
The snapshot showed a graphic picture and outlined in detail the act of “making love”.
“This is called making love. Your dad moves his penis inside your mum’s vagina until it squirts some special stuff into her. That’s when they stop making love because they have had enough and it’s very tiring,” the page in the snapshot states.
The alleged contents of the textbook were roundly condemned by many people who said the content was inappropriate and should not be taught to school children.
Dr Rapapa took to Twitter where he refuted allegations that the ministry had distributed the sexually explicit textbook, saying that the allegations were untruthful and aimed at tarnishing the image of his ministry and the government.
“Good people this is not a book recommended or used in Lesotho. It’s pure lies and the Ministry of Education and the coalition government in Lesotho,” Dr Rapapa said.
And in an official statement on Friday, the ministry disowned the “Making Love” textbook saying it did not produce or distribute the said book.
The statement further said that while politics and health education were an important part of the curriculum, there were teachers were well trained to impart such knowledge to children.
“Our books are put together by our teachers and any objections on the content thereof are welcome. These books should be able to serve the needs of the Basotho children and the nation at large,” said the statement.
Social media users have also condemned government over another extract from the same ‘textbook’ that purports to discuss political parties and their songs.
“A political song is a song that is sung as part of a movement for social change. Sometimes, it belongs to one particular political party and sometimes it is sung by everyone as a protest against something they do like,” the extract states.
Last month, the Ministry of Education began distributing textbooks to various public schools across the country in an effort to address the shortage of learning material for learners.
The shortage of books has been cited as one of the reasons for the on-going strike by teachers. Teachers have been on strike since 18 February to press the government to award them salary increments and improve their working conditions.
The strike was instigated by three teachers’ unions, namely, the Lesotho Association of Teachers (LAT), Lesotho Teachers Trade Union (LTTU) and the Lesotho School Principals Association (LeSPA).
The teachers also want the government to pay salaries that are commensurate with their academic and professional qualifications as well as weed out ghost workers from the payroll.
The government has since set up of an inter-ministerial committee to help Prof Rapapa to address the teachers’ complaints.
The committee is chaired by the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Thesele ‘Maseribane. Other members of the committee are Prof Rapapa; Public Service Minister, Semano Sekatle; Defence Minister, Tefo Mapesela; Minister of Energy, Tsukutlane Au, Minister of Finance, Moeketsi Majoro and the Minister of Home Affairs, Mokoto Hloaele.