Why Quthing is performing dismally

Why Quthing is performing dismally

QUTHING – FOR the last two years, Quthing district has been the worst performing district in the Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education examinations.
Stung by the shocking statistics, the Ministry of Education then set up a board to investigate the causes of the district’s poor performance.
Ntsoaki Moneale, a teacher at Tsépisong Primary School in the district, said there are a couple of factors that contribute to the district’s poor performance.
Moneale said apart from a shortage of schools, they are also battling with lack of furniture like desks and chairs.
She said the textbooks are not enough for students.

“For this reason, they have to share everything,” she said.
Moneale said they also have a serious problem of students who are bunking classes.
And when they make follow-ups, they often discover that the pupils take turns to look after their families livestock.
“We tried to talk to parents about this problem but some just do not care about education,” she said.

Moneale said the district also has a huge number of orphans and because of poverty, some students choose to be married at a young age and leave school.
The Minister of Social Development, ‘Matebatso Doti, has embarked on a campaign to discourage child marriages.
Research has shown that child marriages are rife in Lesotho particularly in rural areas.

Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso is also discouraging young girls from getting married at an early age as this stops them from continuing with their studies.
Moneale said some students travel long distances to get to school and when they arrive, they are tired and cannot concentrate in class.
The plight of these pupils becomes evident in winter when it gets darker quickly.

Moneale said they have cases of students who were chased by unknown people during those hours. She said they have even advised parents to accompany their children on their way to school so that they provide security against criminals. She said there are also students who have to cross bridges and when it rains heavily, these students skip classes.

Lesotho’s topography also contributes significantly to the district’s bad performance with lots of students skipping classes.
Moneale argued that if the students could attend classes regularly, results would improve significantly.
The village chief of Sejamololi, Chief ‘Mantolo Nkuebe, said there is a dire lack of schools in the district with children walking long distances to get to Tsépisong Primary School.
The chief said they are also facing the challenge of orphans who are needy.

She said they would be happy if the Ministry of Social Development could assist those orphans.
The chief cited the case of a six-year-old girl who goes to school with a torn uniform and wears gumboots and a red jersey instead of wearing black jersey and school shoes.
“That is so heart-breaking,” she said.

’Makhotso Rakotsoane

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