Home News Ignorance not a virtue

Ignorance not a virtue

by Lesotho Times

AS I SEE IT

LESOTHO has always embraced the importance of education. 

Children are taught to dream big at an early age.

They are taught that to make it big in life one has to be educated. 

The idea is that there are no shortcuts in life.

I remember when we were little girls growing up in Sea Point we would have casual chats about what we wanted to be when we grew up.

We talked about our ambitions.

They were not just dreams.

We knew that the gateway to a better life was the classroom and that success was not an accident.

We knew we had to endure chilly winters and sometimes menacing teachers to achieve our goals.  

Some wanted to be doctors, nurses, pilots and so on.

The spirit of education was instilled in us at an early age.

We saw education as the key out of the slums where we lived into the suburbs and flashy apartment blocks in the city.

I badly wanted to be a teacher but the glamour associated with being a television presenter attracted me as well.

“Then you better work hard at school and do your homework because you need to be educated to achieve all that,” my mother would say to me.

So I have always believed that the only way to reach those goals was through education.

I am a journalist now but I still have to further my education.

I am glad that I did not miss my dream by a wide margin.

Thanks to education, I have a career.

I am still guided by mother’s words of wisdom.

Imagine the horror and shock I got when I read the letter purportedly written by the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) youth lashing out at some academically privileged ministers in cabinet.

“Our firm belief is that for one to become a minister academic qualifications are not a basic necessity.

“What is important is for an individual to have love coupled with an in-depth knowledge of congress politics,” reads the letter.

Then again I listened to the All Basotho Convention (ABC) youth song about how one does not need education to become part of ABC leadership.

“One needs to work hard only to become a sound part of ABC; not education to make it into ABC (Kobo-tata e-ea sebelletsoa, ha e kenoe ka thuto),” go the lyrics of the popular ABC youth song.

I am told that the powers that be in the ABC have since barred the youth from singing this part of their song.

Word is that the decision  has annoyed the party’s youthful followers who surprisingly don’t see the damaging lyrics of the song.

This behaviour from the leaders of tomorrow is shocking.

I see a generation that is hostile to education.

I see a generation that is contemptuous of educated people.

These are boys and girls who want to be rewarded for hurling insults at political opponents and singing louder at rallies.

They want to be rewarded for being fanatics. 

I am not discriminating on the basis of education but imagine having this country being led by a cabinet of illiterate ministers and MPs who cannot interpret even a basic document like a constitution.

Imagine what chaos we will have here.

The ABC leaders were correct to tell their youths to shut up.

The LCD leaders must remind their young comrades that ignorance is not a virtue.

True this country does not have the huge resources to start large industries but at least we have an education system equipped to “manufacture” leaders.

For a country like Lesotho education is the best investment.

I am still trying to understand where this hostility to education started from.

A society that lacks knowledge is doomed.

It’s quite obvious that a youth that rejects education will also frown upon any form of knowledge in future.

Lesotho does not need a generation of ignoramuses.

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