Lesotho launches informal education policy

  • 14 January, 2019

Non-Formal Education (NFE) provides access to education to members of communities who may have been left out of the formal education system due to various challenges according to education and training minister Professor Ntoi Rapapa.

Speaking at the launch of Non-Formal Education Policy on Friday January 11 in Maseru, Rapapa said the challenges included lack of school fees, young men who left for mining jobs at a very early age, child marriages and herding of cattle by young boys among others. He indicated that through NFE, communities can empower themselves in terms of general civilisation.
He noted that out of school education is not only academical but technical and vocational. He added that NFE gives learners an opportunity to develop skills that will help them to self-employ and seek employment where such skills are required.
Rapapa highlighted that NFE policy is meant to strengthen the Non-Formal Education Programme. He pointed out that the policy directs that there should be more regulation and management of NFE institutions and organisations.
He further noted that this includes among others, legal and official registration of such entities regulated by the guidelines to that effect. He said policy advocates for cooperation and inherent consultation among NFE stakeholders on issues such as learning materials development and pool funding activities.
He stated that the policy directs that there has to be an establishment of NFE department. He said the department shall afford the Lesotho Distance Teaching Centre (LDTC) the adequate time to refocus efforts on how to expand the programme in terms of subject and courses as a precursor to finally establish an Open College and eventually the Open University of Lesotho which is a long overdue objective.
Speaking at the event, LDTC director Monaheng Mohale said in the absence of NFE policy led to some challenges that include lack of standardised NFE programmes, lack of cooperation among NFE providers as well as lack of diversity among others.
He further expressed hope that its presence will lead to establishment of NFE department to coordinate and manage NFE programmes in the country. He added that as a result of this policy, eventually the country will realise an open university in order to provide quality education to all.
On behalf of United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) representative, Ms. Trine Peterson said this policy will assist Lesotho to reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, by being more inclusive as marginalised people who missed out on education will get a chance to access education.
She noted that UNICEF will support government of Lesotho in implementing NFE policy as through it the country will promote economic development. She added that this policy makes life easy for them as they will become employable and as a result be able to contribute to the country's economy.
NFE policy is intended to ensure that all Basotho who did not get expected outcomes from formal school education are skilled through non-formal education programme. The government emphasises that NFE shall disseminate information, promote new acquired skills and many more through extensive programmes and support services.

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