Ed­u­ca­tion comes to vil­lagers’ doorstep

Lesotho Times - - News - Brian Chi­wanza

TWO com­mu­nity learn­ing cen­tres (CLCS), which were built in Ha-motsu and Ha-teko vil­lages at a cost of M450 000, will be of­fi­cially opened on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day re­spec­tively.

The CLCS were con­structed through the col­lab­o­ra­tion of the United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNESCO), Africa Bridge Pro­gramme and funded by the Korean Na­tional Com­mis­sion for UNESCO (KNCU) in part­ner­ship with the Le­sotho Na­tional Com­mis­sion for UNESCO.

KNCU Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Dong-seok Min, is set to hand over the CLCS, with Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Min­is­ter, Ma­hali Phamotse, of­fi­cially open­ing the fa­cil­i­ties which were con­structed in 2013 and 2014 re­spec­tively.

Ac­cord­ing to KNCU’S pro­ject man­ager, Moonju Kim, the multi-pur­pose fa­cil­i­ties could be used as li­braries, for ex­tra lessons, lit­er­acy ed­u­ca­tion and as a com­mu­nity meet­ing point.

She said the CLCS would par­tic­u­larly ben­e­fit kinder­garten­ers and il­lit­er­ate peo­ple in re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

“The learn­ing cen­tres are de­signed to ac­com­mo­date pre-school stu­dents from the ages of 3-5 years. The sec­ond tar­get group is those peo­ple who don’t know how to read and write,” Ms Kim said.

“In Ha-motsu, we have 31 pre-school stu­dents, up from the ini­tial nine stu­dents who had reg­is­tered. We also have 14 stu­dents in the lit­er­acy class. In Ha-teko, we have 48 pre-school stu­dents while the lit­er­acy class is yet to start.”

She said they chose Ha-motsu and Ha-teko vil­lages af­ter re­al­is­ing “they had the great­est need in terms of ac­cess­ing ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties”.

“In Ha-motsu there was no pre-school fa­cil­ity and the area has only one pri­mary school. So we are pro­vid­ing them with ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion through the learn­ing cen­tres,” said Ms Kim.

“Our aim, through the CLCS, is to bring hope to re­mote ar­eas in Sub-sa­ha­ran Africa through ed­u­ca­tion.”

She said the fa­cil­i­ties also boasted a cafe­te­ria for the kinder­garten­ers, a kitchen, din­ing room, sleep­ing room and a so­lar wa­ter pump cour­tesy of South Korean car­maker Hyundai.

She said that they had also in­volved the sur- round­ing com­mu­ni­ties in the pro­ject to change their “de­pen­dency at­ti­tude to an own­er­ship mind­set”.

“To sus­tain the pro­ject we in­tro­duced poul­try and veg­etable gar­den­ing to help them raise in­come for their daily needs,” Ms Kim said.

“Dur­ing the con­struc­tion, we had more than 100 vol­un­teers with men build­ing while women were fetch­ing wa­ter.

“The com­mu­nity has had to see that it’s their pro­ject and it’s im­por­tant for their com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment.”

She added that the pro­ject was funded by well-wish­ers from South Korea, while the gov­ern­ment of Le­sotho also pledged to pay for the stu­dents’ tu­ition.the pro­ject is also be­ing run in South Africa, Zam­bia, Rwanda, Malawi and Zim­babwe.

CHIL­DREN in Ha-teko vil­lage make use of the fa­cil­i­ties at the com­mu­nity learn­ing cen­tre.

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