How Lesotho can advance a more open and just society
In the quest for social justice, education is identified as one of the key instruments in advancing socio-economic securities and the general welfare of the public. Not just any education is useful in a world that is increasingly competitive and demands skilling and re-skilling of learners. The Lesotho government needs to engage more stakeholder reflection to assess the current environment and its needs in order to engender the type of education suitable and enabling for Lesotho children to hold their own. Covid-19 demonstrated how fragile economies can be in the face of a global pandemic that forced almost the entire world to retreat from everyday activities and pleasures we had come to take for granted. Put to the ultimate test, some skills and competencies began to crack and expose the flaws of our systems.
Lesotho – which has been reliant on imported goods and services for so long – needs a different approach, geared towards home-grown production of goods and services for a good percentage of its consumption requirements. Lack of viable productivity means there are reduced prospects for school leavers and overreliance on government to provide already meagre employment opportunities. As one of the most unequal societies in the world, Lesotho needs to strive to redress socio-economic inequalities by offering education that promotes productivity and entrepreneurial skills to stimulate growth and possibilities that will advance a more open and just society.
Mahao Mahao, PhD, is a Canon Collins alumnus, Chairperson of Malealea Development Trust and lecturer in the Faculty of Education, National University of Lesotho