Education ministry distributes books

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Staff Writer

THE Ministry of Education and Training, through the School Supply Unit (SSU) is currently distributing educational materials for Grade 8 learners throughout the country.

This was said by the Chief Information Officer in the Ministry of Education and Training Molikuoa Mota yesterday.

Ms Mota said the distribution started on the 7th of March 2019 after the SSU received books for Social Sciences and Arts and Entrepreneurship Subjects for Grade 8 levels from one of their suppliers, Pearson Education Africa.

“Each subject has 65 000 books and the ministry strongly believes that the books will cover all the secondary schools in the country,” Ms Mota said.

“This week the ministry also received yet another package of 60 000 English and another 60 000 Mathematics books for Grade 8 from another supplier, Cambridge University Press. The books are being distributed in 350 Secondary Schools which are registered under the ministry of education and training.”

The books come at a time when teachers across the country have been demanding that the government provides teaching materials and text books for learners.

The teachers embarked onto a strike on 18 February affecting learning in most of the 1800 government schools around the country with pupils being sent home as a result of the absence of their teachers.

Apart from salary increments, the teachers also want the government to hold regular training sessions for teachers to familiarise them with new curriculum.  The strike was also meant to press the government to award them salary increments and improve their working conditions.

The teachers said they would down tools for three weeks and teach learners only for one week in a month until their grievances were addressed. They said the cycle would continue for a year unless the government yielded to their demands.

Despite the negotiations between the teachers’ unions and a ministerial committee appointed to assist Minister of Education and Training Ntoi Rapapa to convince the teachers to return to work, the ministry has however, been working in the background paying some of the teachers.

And Ms Mota said the distribution of books is one of the multiple initiatives which the ministry is working on to ensure that teachers return to work.

Last week’s books were received by Prof Rapapa who indicated that through this initiative, the Ministry is ensuring that every Mosotho child has access to quality education. He added that to speed up the process the books will be distributed even on weekends.

Prof Rapapa also reminded the principals of the importance of ensuring that book rental fees reach the ministry so that more books can be procured by the ministry.

The book rental scheme was implemented by the government of Lesotho in 2004 as one of the measures to improve quality education and access to education. The scheme indicates that the Government through the ministry will provide books for seven subjects at secondary level and also provide books for core subjects at High school level (Mathematics, science both Physical and Biology and English language) while school principals are required to ensure that students pay M220, 00 as book rental fee every year.

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