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Why Lesotho localised examinations

ntoi‘Mantoetse Maama

MASERU — The Examination Council of Lesotho (ECOL) has localised its Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education (LGCSE) to suit local needs.

ECOL settled for the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) examinations board in 1961 after opting out of the joint Matriculation Board of South Africa (JMB).

The adoption was meant to be temporary with the hope that Lesotho would have its own local curriculum and examination at secondary school level other than relying on foreign examinations boards.

According to a report presented by ECOL Registrar Litšabako Ntoi, localisation involves adoption of entire processes followed by adaptation in order to suit local situations.

The LGCSE resulted from the COSC governing body, Cambridge International Examinations’ (CIE) disinterest in producing the examinations for Lesotho.

“The CIE was no longer interested in producing the examinations for Lesotho,” she said.

Ntoi said Lesotho took time to localise its qualification as other countries in the region were already steps ahead in the localisation of the school leaving examination to suit their contexts.

She said it is necessary for each country to localise its examination.

“It is only necessary that each country have its own curriculum and examination which is familiar,” she said.

Lesotho’s changing of the curriculum and examination is a result of overwhelming pressure which CIE has been putting on Lesotho regarding localisation since 2007.

There had been changes in syllabi which necessitated localisation and the O’Level syllabus being phased out.

“While Lesotho was dealing with the changes, CIE introduced changes in the English language which necessitated training of teachers. The first examination in English language within the changed syllabus took place in June 2011.

“CIE informed Lesotho that it would not continue with the Geography and History for Southern Africa from the beginning of 2013,” states the document.

“These were not the only changes; Lesotho has also seen syllabus reviews in Food and Nutrition and Agriculture which also necessitate training of teachers.

“The clear message from all these development is that it is time for Lesotho to design and develop its curriculum and assessment strategies and do that very fast,” Ntoi said.

She mentioned that examination fees were alarmingly increasing every year.

Meanwhile the localised qualification will be accredited to international standards.

“Our students will still enroll in other international universities as we have publicised our certificates to Higher Education South Africa and other stakeholders,” she said.

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