The Education Act 2010 is currently under review after the
Minister of Education and Training Professor Ntoi Rapapa tabled the Education
Amendment Bill 2019 aimed to improve the general management of the education
sector and maintain the principles of good governance.
The statement of the objects and reasons say the Act is fraught with short comings such as inconsistencies with other laws like Teachers Pensions Act of 1994 and Public Officers Defined Contribution Pension Fund Act N0. 4 of 2008.
“The said Contraventions make it practically impossible to pay out the gratuities that were agreed to with the principals upon completion of at least 12 consecutive months of their contracts. The Bill therefore provides for employment of principals on permanent and pensionable terms in order to remedy the above mentioned defects,” they stated.
Furthermore, the Bill clarifies the roles and responsibilities of persons and institutions tasked with the administration of education such as the Ministry of Education and its structures, the churches and other proprietors, the Local Government structures, Teachers Formations, principals and parents.
The Bill shows that the parliament is invited to note that the Ministry of Education and Training has embarked on major reforms and so the Education Bill was carefully crafted to avoid possible overlapping of roles.
In addition, the Bill will enable the Ministry to execute its mandate much more effectively and efficiently in line with the current demands on education.
Again, the objects and reasons show that the Bill will provide guidance on redeployment of teachers, systematic appraisal of teachers and principals, including the role of inspectors in teachers’ disciplinary processes. The Bill also provides the reduction of retirement age of teachers from sixty five (65) years to sixty (60) years.
The Bill, according to the reasons and objects, is aligned with the existing legal framework in Lesotho including but not limited to Labour Laws and Public Officers Defined Contribution Pension Act of 2008.
In conclusion, the Bill is also consistent with the letter and spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children which Lesotho has ratified, as well as the Education for All (EFA) Declaration.
The Bill was presented for the first reading in the National Assembly and was referred to the relevant portfolio committee.
Attorney-General Advocate Haae Phoofolo KC signed the Bill after checking it.
This Bill comes in the wake of teachers three week kangaroo strike where they are expected to report on duty for a week next week Monday and embark on another three week strike if their demands from the government have not been addressed.
Among other demands the teachers seek a career and salary structure review and the reinstatement of one of their leaders Mr. Letsatsi Ntsibolane who has been fired after spearheading the teachers strike.