China uplifts students
MASERU – THE Chinese Embassy last Friday donated M20 000 to two high schools in Maseru to pay fees for vulnerable students.
The donation was part of the China-Lesotho Fund for People-to-People Friendship Acts.
At least 40 students from the two schools have benefited from the fund over the past three years. The fund has pumped in over M100 000 towards the students’ fees.
Speaking at a ceremony to hand over the cheque, the Masowe High School Principal ’Makamohelo Oliphant said over half of the students at her school cannot afford fees.
“Every vulnerable student will get M1 000 for school fees,” Oliphant said.
“Unlike other donations which come at the end of the year, the Chinese give out this token at the beginning of the year,” she said.
Last year, the Chinese Embassy gave out M30 000 to 22 students and 100 desks to Lesia High school.
“Progression (to the next) level was due to the help from the Chinese Embassy. In 2016 we had a student who waved Lesia High School’s flag high by achieving top 4 in the country who was sponsored by Chinese Embassy from Form D until she completed her studies,” Mathafeng Mateuli, the Lesia principal, said.
“As best performers will be taken to China to further their studies, she is hopefully waiting to be taken to China like other students who have been taken to China,” Mateuli said.
The Education Minister Motlalentoa Letsosa said Basotho should not wait for donations but try to help themselves before expecting help from other people.
Letsosa said China has helped to reduce the number of school dropouts that resulted from high school fees.
China’s ambassador to Lesotho, Xianghua Sun, said education is “the cornerstone of a successful nation and is the key to a brighter future”.
“I have only been in this country (for a few years) and have learned that Basotho value education hence decided to help them invest in education,” Sun said.
“It is now our third year since we started sponsoring these two schools and we are looking forward to doing more in the coming years,” he said.
Sun said the Chinese people “have regarded education as one of the key areas of bilateral cooperation”.
Over the years, the Chinese government has given over 300 government scholarships to Basotho students to study in China.
Over 2 000 Basotho are studying in various programmes in China.
Last month, a state-of-the-art middle school, the China-Lesotho Friendship Middle School, was handed over to Lesotho.
“I personally am a strong believer that education can change a person’s fate. I sincerely hope all of you fully concentrate on your studies and set your target high,” he told students.
“As a Chinese saying goes, set you target high, you may achieve the middle target, set your target in the middle, and you may only reach the lower one,” he said.
One of Lesia’s best performers, ’Malitšeoana Sempe, who is in the top 4 nationwide for 2016 Form E results, said nothing beats determination.
“Enlisting targets and priorities as well as setting goals helps with achieving your goal,” Sempe said.
Sempe said her biggest dream “is to see myself studying in China and coming back to my country to implement what I would have learned to improve the economy of my country”.
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