The Curriculum and Assessment Symposium seeks to achieve objectives that include providing a platform for stakeholders to reflect on and interrogate the current status of basic education curriculum reforms.
The Minister of Education and Training, Prof. Ntoi Rapapa said this when officially opening a two-day symposium which started on Tuesday at Manthabiseng Convention Centre in Maseru.
The symposium also aims to reflect on the new basic education curriculum policy, its proposed assessment model, and primary education programme as well as gather suggestions from stakeholders for possible ways to address the identified gaps.
Prof. Rapapa remarked that an event of this magnitude was held in 1978 (National Education Dialogue) at which all Basotho at home and abroad gathered in one place and expressed their views about the future of the Lesotho education system after 12 years of independence.
He said the 1978 dialogue marked a defining moment of the Lesotho education system as the first post-independence policy instrument in the field of education was developed.
He stressed that the Lesotho intellectuals moulded a tool that has since been used to guide the government in creating an education system that was appropriate to the needs of Lesotho.
He noted that the Ministry of Education and Training found it essential to provide a platform for different stakeholders to host a dialogue of which views and trends on the current status and future of the basic education curriculum and assessment will be scrutinized, discussed and examined.
He said the 1978 key recommendations from the task force report were strengthening and integration of ECCD in primary school education, integration of special education into the mainstream, and also prioritization of formal education; non-formal education as well as technical and vocational.
He mentioned that the government within its capacity has made all efforts to implement these recommendations thus curriculum and assessment policy was developed in 2009, a non-formal education policy was implemented in 2018, and an inclusive education policy of 2018 is in place.
He, therefore, wished all stakeholders interactive, robust, informative, educative, and healthy discussions saying indeed education is the responsibility of all.
Also speaking, the Principal Secretary of Basic Education, Dr Lira Khama said the common goal is for all Basotho to have quality education both at school and through the non-formal education channels.
He said this lack of information on stakeholder involvement carries the risk of lack of ownership, saying in 2000, the ministry introduced Free Primary Education which in 2010 became compulsory.
He stressed that in 2012 the ministry rolled out the new curriculum beginning with the first three classes in primary schools and rendered progression of grades on the basis of their potential, capability, and leakages especially as they moved to secondary schools.
Stakeholders from different sectors were given a chance to present their experiences and their recommendations in striving towards relevant and quality education for all.
Present at the symposium included former Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Lesao Lehohla, former Minister of Education and Training, Dr Mamphono Khaketla, representatives from institutions like the Examination Council of Lesotho (ECOL), Lesotho Distance Teaching Centre (LTDC), National University of Lesotho (NUL), Lesotho College of Education (LCE) and the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.