INSURANCE firm, Thaba Bosiu Risk Solutions, on Saturday held a prize-giving ceremony for outstanding students at Boribeng primary and high schools in Leribe district.
The initiative was also supported by Lesotho Flour Mills, Boliba Savings and Credit, Mamoth, Itec Lesotho, Maseru Toyota, Fashion World, Lesotho Funeral Services and KFC.
According to the company’s Managing Director, ‘Matokelo Seturumane, the initiative, which is four years running, was meant to alleviate the challenges faced by schoolchildren and teachers in her home village.
“I was born and bred here. Although I did not attend school at Boribeng, I have seen that these schools are beset by a lot of challenges which compelled me, through Thaba Bosiu Risk Solutions, to find ways to motivate the students and teachers,” said Ms Seturumane.
“However, this gesture has not been made because the company has a lot lack of electricity, computers and science laboratories at these schools. I really wonder how these kids manage to pass subjects that require research, especially science, without a lab to conduct experiments.”
She called on government to do more to upgrade the school’s decrepit infrastructure, asking Leribe No. 12 Member of Parliament, Tšehlo Ramaruo, who was in attendance, to relay the message to the Education and Training ministry. Boribeng village is part of Leribe No. 12 constituency.
During the ceremony, 17 primary students from grades one to seven, who attained positions one and two, were given various prizes. The number one position holders were presented with a school bag and a hamper containing school instruments. The number twos were awarded the hamper containing school instruments.
For the high school students, 15 from forms A to E who attained positions one to three, were presented with trophies, school bags, certificates and hampers. A badge was added to number one position holders in forms D and E.
Overall best performer and form E student, Teko Mokonyane, walked away with a new white blazer, trophy, Parker pen and pencil as well as a badge. He also won an award for the best performer in science.
Addressing the students, Ms Seturumane said the sky was the limit for them as long as they applied themselves and remained focused.
“It is important to take action after acquiring knowledge. Teachers feed you with information and it is up to you to execute it in an appropriate manner that will bear you fruits,” Ms Seturumane said.
“Fear and having no willpower or direction are the greatest barriers to success in life. If you focus on what other people are doing, you will waste energy and time on unnecessary things. Instead, you should be working on building your future.
“Appreciate the fact that your parents are struggling to pay your fees and don’t demand the fancy stuff that well-off kids get. But rather focus on working your way up to the top so that you can change the situation you grew up in.”
Speaking to the Lesotho Times on the sidelines of the ceremony, 19-year-old Mokonyane said he was working hard to change his life for the better.
“My mother is a domestic worker, while my dad is struggling in the factories of South Africa to offer me and my two sisters a better life.
“Every day after school household chores will be waiting for me. After that, I read from 8pm till 10pm. I wake up again at 3am to return to my books until it is time to get ready for school,” Mr Mokonyane said, adding that he aspires to become a doctor once he finishes school since he is quite prolific in biology.
On his part, the high school’s principal, Khabele Khabele, commended Thaba Bosiu Risk Solutions for the gesture, which he said had drastically improved the performance of the students.
“In the past, we struggled to get even a third class pass from Form E results. But, we are very pleased to reveal that last year we managed to send six students to the National University of Lesotho,” Mr Khabele said.
“Thaba Bosiu Risk Solutions’ presence here has not only empowered the students but changed the lives of the teachers as well. Because of their generosity, we are still motivated to work hard despite not having electricity, a proper road network and laboratories.”
Thirty 12.5kg bags of bread flour and equal amounts of maize meal as well as two pallets containing 2.5kg of white sugar were given away to students through a raffle. Twenty jerseys were also donated to those identified by the school as the most needy.