VCL donates M650 000 to school for the visually impaired

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Moroke Sekoboto

VODACOM Lesotho Foundation has donated M650 000 to the Resource Centre for the Blind in Maseru.

Vodacom Lesotho (VCL) board chairman, John Matlosa, said the donation was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme.

Presenting a cheque to the centre, Mr Matlosa said they find it important to use part of their returns on investment to support deserving learners and institutions in the country.

“It is our corporate social responsibility as a company to meet the government halfway in helping those in need. We provide assistance to programmes supporting education, gender equality, health, and economic growth. As Vodacom Lesotho Foundation, we strongly believe that every child deserves proper and continuous education” Mr Matlosa said.

For his part, UNICEF deputy Lesotho representative, Kimanzi Muthengi, said as a development partner, they have taken note of the challenges that the Resource Centre for the Blind is facing.

“We have taken note of various difficulties that the centre has been operating under, including the need for adequate facilities and the challenges teachers face in meeting the special needs of the learners” Mr Muthengi said.

On behalf of the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), ‘Mabakubung Seutloali said they have a good relationship with Vodacom Lesotho.

“Indeed, MoET has a long-standing relationship with Vodacom Lesotho. VCL has always been supporting secondary schools in the country with gadgets. They are currently connecting free internet to 300 secondary schools out of 350 in the country, so that learners and teachers can access it within the school premises.” Ms Seutloali said.

She said that the government recognises education as a right and children with disability should not be denied that right.

The government is committed to local and international conventions calling for the promotion of rights for people with disabilities such as Education Act of 2010, Disability Equity Act 2021 Inclusive Education Policy 2018, and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which calls for quality education for all.

Ms Seutloali said the Ministry is working towards achieving this goal by 2030, by also including schools such as the Resource Centre for the Blind.

“As MoET, we focus on different types of special needs such as hearing, visual, physical impairments, and intellectual disabilities. We also provide pre-service training for teachers to enable teaching of learners with special educational needs.

“We call upon organisations like VCL to support schools like this centre by providing appropriate resources such as assistive devices, braille materials for learners with visual impairment and other resources for creating education opportunities.

“I want to applaud VCL management for demonstrating their social responsibility where there is dire need. This support comes at a critical time in the life of not only this centre but also in our fulfilment of the government’s strategy to meet the needs of the most vulnerable of our population. We all know how Covid-19 disrupted teaching and learning where the most disadvantaged children and learners were hit hard by its impact,” Ms Seutloali said.

This situation had influenced the United Nations secretary general, His Excellency Antonio Guterres, to put education at the top of the agenda for member states to recognise that education is a foundation for peace, tolerance, human rights and sustainable development.

The Transforming Education Summit of heads of states on education general assembly would be held in September 2022 in New York where heads of states are expected to commit to ensuring inclusive quality education and lifelong learning for all and to ensure full recovery from Covid-19 education disruption, Ms Seutloali said.

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