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Union leader slams “pigsty” schools


welcome_songLimpho Sello

Lesotho Association of Teachers (LAT) President, Mosaletsane Kulehile, has called on government to improve the state of the country’s schools some of which he said looked like “pigsties”.

Mr Kulehile made the remarks as he addressed teachers during a Workers Day rally at Maseru Club on Friday.

According to Mr Kulehile, most schools in Lesotho were in such deplorable state they resembled pigsties.

“Some of our schools are in such poor condition they resemble pigsties; they are not fit for human habitation at all because of the terrible state they are in. Even those that look better have a problem in that they don’t have the required furniture for the students to undertake their studies under a conducive environment,” Mr Kulehile said.

“We need to have schools which are equipped with proper furniture, sports fields which enable students to realise their full sporting potential, proper dining halls and teachers’ accommodation which are fit for human occupation.

“It is not acceptable that students in the schools we teach, are served food in classrooms and the kitchens are also horrible. We call upon the government to improve this infrastructure which puts our teachers and children at risk.”

Mr Kulehile also said the other challenge teachers face are large classes which make effective tuition extremely difficult, if not impossible.

“You will find a very large number of students in a class, which makes teachers’ work very difficult. We suggest that the teacher/students ratio be looked into seriously, so that we don’t have this problem in the classroom”.

Mr Kulehile further said teachers were “saddened” by the current government’s decision not to split the Ministry of Education and Training into two, and yet dividing those that are “not even overloaded with work”.

“We have more than 16 000 to 18 000 teachers who need to be assisted and yet the government did not see the need to have two ministries focusing on education.

“We were expecting the government to have a Ministry of Basic Education and a Ministry of Higher Learning so that there can be better focus and proper monitoring of what is really happening in our education system.”

Mr Kulehile also spoke about the on-going attack of foreign nationals in South Africa, which have displaced thousands and also seen several being killed.

“We don’t support what is happening in South Africa, where foreign nationals are being attacked for no apparent reason.

“The South Africans are attacking people who used to support and give them shelter when they were under the apartheid government. We call upon workers’ unions in South Africa to do something about these attacks and make sure they stop immediately and never happen again,” Mr Kulehile said.

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