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Will the effects of this education monkey wreck in the works ever be restored?


Feb. 17, 2020 3 min read

The impediments of the 2019 school calendar as a result of the teachers’ strike which obstructed education, became evident with the low quality of results obtained in the majority of schools. This once again influenced the Ministry of Education to offer the opportunity to pupils who did not do well to supplement their examinations as a way to lighten the burden.

The question is, do children in Lesotho deserve to bear the apparently life changing and dream expurgating penalties of the National paranoia, the nation which has a State obligation as the signatory of United Nations Child Rights Convention (UNCRC) bound by Article 4 to uphold the right of children? Children’s issues should form part of the national agenda if this nation is to develop from the current state.

Teachers had the right to express their needs, but the question remains, will the effects of 2019 education monkey wreck in the industry ever be restored? It is highly possible that the 2020/21 budget will adhere to the concerns of the teachers, but how will it bring remedy to the compromised quality of education by the same teachers, unobliterated by high level of failures that resulted.

Will it ever be compensated? Does the opportunity to sit for supplementary examinations reciprocate for the time lost, costs incurred, and failure endured? Has it ever been taken into consideration the psycho-social effects attributed by this retreat considering the recorded staggering increase in the number of orphans in Lesotho from the population census (2016) of 41% from 130, 245 in 2006 to 221, 400 increase? A number which is debatable as there is as yet no formal system to register orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho?

The Sustainable Development Goals, which Lesotho is part of, on the rights of children upholds the slogan that says “Leave no one behind” what of the general population of Basotho children who were “left behind” in their right to quality education in 2019? The African Charter which Lesotho hosted its secretariat and hosted the 29th ordinary ceremony of its African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of Children ( ACERWC) in 2017, supposedly mandated to accelerate the implementation of strategies aimed at achieving child related development goals as per The Article 32-46, makes  the credibility of the reports submitted by Lesotho questionable.

The Education Act 2010 was hopefully enacted not only as a way of achieving The Millennial Goal of legislating for free and compulsory primary. The expectation was that it would also indicate evidence of a drive to improve the quality of education as well. According to UNICEF, The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child which Lesotho is also a member of, affirms that every child has a right to education to enable the child to develop to the fullest possible potential and to learn respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, with one of its principles being “the best interest of the child”.

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This is another agreement one would want to know if Lesotho affirms to as well or if it is just an ink on paper. The mentioned convention recognizes education as a legal right to every child on the basis of equal opportunity. Article 28 states the obligation of the State to take measures regarding school attendance and discipline. It encourages international cooperation in matters related to education which one would desire to know if Lesotho considered when matters went out of control.

There is also the Economic Agreement to invest in the country’s human capital between Lesotho and the World Bank, which one would want to know if Lesotho is seriously prioritising on it to achieve the economic growth of the country.

What more should happen to trigger the concerned parties to act? What is holding effectiveness in facilitating the implementation of the rights of children in Lesotho? What will it take for pending legal frame works on the rights of children to be updated? Are Civil Society Organisations doing everything to their level best?

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