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Teachers complete training course

by Sunday Express
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Moorosi Tsiane

SIXTY unemployed teachers last week completed a two-week School Improvement Planning (SIP) training course, which equipped them with skills to work as facilitators of the SIP programme under the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET).

Some of the trained facilitators will immediately be employed by the ministry, a development welcomed by some trained teachers who have been battling to get placement in the Teaching Service Department (TSD).

The first team of SIP facilitators were engaged in August 2017 to pilot the initiative and the newly trained teachers will support 26 additional schools participating in the initiative.  A total 403 schools have been selected to benefit from the SIP initiative.

The SIP is one of the key initiatives introduced in the two education projects: the Lesotho Education Quality for Equality Project (LEQEP) funded by the World Bank; complemented by the Lesotho Basic Education Improvement Project (LEBEIP) funded by the Global Partnership for Education – with the aim to tackle various challenges faced in the primary and secondary schools in the next five years.

The facilitators will support the development of School Improvement Plans and implementation of SIP Processes while fostering community engagement within the existing structures of MOET.

Through the LEQEP and LEBEIP projects, the Ministry of Education aims to bolster its fight against high drop-out, absenteeism, and low retention rates at both primary and secondary schools, among other challenges.

According to a 2012 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education Report, a significant number of female learners dropped out of school in 2009 compromising Lesotho’s efforts to meet Education of All (EFA) goals by 2015.

“Although Lesotho’s education system has achieved progress in raising literacy levels, major issues in terms of drop-out, student flow, quality, and equity are still not addressed,” read part of the UNESCO report.

It further states that throughout all levels of education, statistics show that a higher number of girls than boys are enrolled in school, a scenario that is different from most of the other Sub-Saharan countries.

“However, the enrollment of girls decreases significantly as the grades increase, indicating a very high incidence of drop-outs and a larger number of out-of-school girls. In 2009, 25 percent of girls at primary level and 64 percent at secondary level were out of school,” reads part of the UNESCO report.

The Ministry of Education and Training Spokesperson, Molukuoa Sekhonyana this week said, the two projects (LEQEP and LEBEIP), would help the ministry deal with challenges facing basic education in Lesotho.

She cited high drop-out rates, high absenteeism, low retention rates, among other challenges, explaining these negatively impacted on education outcomes.

“Therefore, the projects will take a wide-ranging array of approaches to address these key challenges facing the education system,” Ms Sekhonyana said.

The projects started in August 2017 and will target 332 primary and 71 secondary schools that have been hit by the mentioned three main challenges, she said.

She explained that the SIP initiative will introduce a new system of data collection, reporting, self-evaluation, action planning, budgeting and monitoring which, in addition, is expected to promote shared ownership and capacitate school leadership to develop school improvement plans for support by the project grants.




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