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Spotlight on non-formal education

 

Lijeng Ranooe

LESOTHO National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (LNCU) Secretary General, Palesa Montsi, has called for the adoption of a new strategic plan to sustain the Lesotho Bridge Project (LBP) which is aimed at supporting marginalised through non-formal education.

LNCU and their South Korean counterparts, KNCU, have a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which led to the establishment of the LPB in 2010 to support to access non-formal education.

The LPB has been operationalised through the establishment of three Community Learning Centres (CLCs) in Lesotho and the LNCU and their Korean counterparts recently held a three-day workshop to prepare a community-level action plan to enhance the sustainability of the CLCs beyond 2018.

The MoU expires on 22 October 2018.

Speaking at the workshop at the LNCU offices in Maseru, Ms Montsi said although the MoU expired next year, “it is important to continue the work that has been done towards making education accessible for all Basotho”.

It has been very instrumental in the social development and education in the three communities that have the privilege of access to this initiative.

“The main purpose is to create learning opportunities that will contribute to the economic development of Lesotho and the only way that will happen is through the education of the people; we as citizens hold the key to the wealth of the country,” Ms Montsi said.

The CLCs are currently operational in Liphiring, Ha-Motsu and Ha-Teko villages.

Ms Montsi further stated that there was still a long way to go to expand the CLCs, adding, “We need to be more diligent and aggressive within the learning centres”.

“We need to show more commitment and dedication to enhancing the skills of the communities to help them earn a living. We need to stop leaning on the government and take matters into our own hands and work towards increasing literacy and writing skills in communities.

“This LBP needs to be set on a solid foundation before the MoU with KNCU expires next year. They have helped us tremendously but I do not want us to feel the absence of their support; this project should continue beyond 2018,” she said.

For his part, KNCU Project Manager for Lesotho, Sangsun Kwon, said that the CLCs had given several children and adults access to education through different learning programmes.

“In addition to providing various types of classes, the project has also supported teachers in three CLCs in improving their skills through several development workshops in order to ensure quality education in the CLCs.

“In spite of substantial progress, there still remain challenges. The fluctuating number of learners in literacy classes has been a persistent challenge. In addition, the absence of a curriculum in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) classes has made it difficult for students to receive quality training. There is also a need to develop strategies aimed at increasing the participation and involvement of community members,” Mr Kwon said.

KNCU Secretary General Kwangho Kim addressed the workshop through a video link and called on Lesotho to take full responsibility for the initiative.

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