Unpacking the local curriculum

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Pascalinah Kabi              

AS part of Lesotho’s national educational development, government decided to replace Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) with a locally-designed qualification, the Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education (LGCSE).

The 2013 Form E students were the first to sit for examinations under this new curriculum which is gradually being developed in stages.

The Examinations Council of Lesotho (ECOL) said the LGCSE was introduced in light of the prevailing and envisaged changes in the assessment of education in Lesotho which revealed that LGCSE was more relevant than COSC.

“The reason being that, LGCSE will exist as a qualification where performance in each subject is individually recognised, unlike with COSC, which is based on a group award system. The grades will change from A1, A2, B2, B3, C5, C6, D7, E8 and U9 to A*, A, B, C, D, E, F, G,” ECOL said.

“LGSCE is a non -group examination. It does not have 1st class, 2nd class, 3rd class GCE and Fail. There will be no need for numerals on the grades as an aggregate will serve no purpose in a non-group examination.”

The council said advantage of LGCSE was that all subjects in the curriculum will have the same status and therefore English will cease to be a passing or failing subject.

The council further said LGCSE catered for a much wider learning aptitude range as it recognises achievements below grade E (lowest level boundary for COSC) with clear and concise performance descriptors for this lower level.

“In terms of standards, LGCSE is equivalent to Ordinary Level in Botswana (BGCSE), Namibia (NGCSE) and Swaziland – SGCSE. It is accredited by CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) and therefore recognised internationally”.

ECOL said it had presented information on the LGCSE has been presented to Higher Education South Africa (HESA) who, in turn, would communicate the standards for LGCSE to the South African universities.

ECOL further stated that countries in southern Africa were appraised of the developments in Lesotho’s education system through the Southern Africa Association for Educational Assessment (SAAEA) at a conference which Lesotho hosted in 2013.

ECOL Chief Executive Officer, Litšabako Ntoi said the new primary curriculum had already yielded desired results, especially with the LGCSE which has seen Form E learners performing better after the removal of pass marks.

“LGCSE is giving high school leavers a new lease on life. They now have various opportunities which they can explore and with English no longer a determining factor of whether a learner had passed or failed, more learners are progressing in life,” Dr Ntoi recently said.

 

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