TWO community learning centres (CLCs), which were built in Ha-Motsu and Ha-Teko villages at a cost of M450 000, will be officially opened on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
The CLCs were constructed through the collaboration of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Africa Bridge Programme and funded by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU) in partnership with the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO.
KNCU Secretary General, Dong-seok Min, is set to hand over the CLCs, with Education and Training Minister, Mahali Phamotse, officially opening the facilities which were constructed in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
According to KNCU’s project manager, Moonju Kim, the multi-purpose facilities could be used as libraries, for extra lessons, literacy education and as a community meeting point.
She said the CLCs would particularly benefit kindergarteners and illiterate people in remote communities.
“The learning centres are designed to accommodate pre-school students from the ages of 3-5 years. The second target group is those people who don’t know how to read and write,” Ms Kim said.
“In Ha-Motsu, we have 31 pre-school students, up from the initial nine students who had registered. We also have 14 students in the literacy class. In Ha-Teko, we have 48 pre-school students while the literacy class is yet to start.”
She said they chose Ha-Motsu and Ha-Teko villages after realising “they had the greatest need in terms of accessing education facilities”.
“In Ha-Motsu there was no pre-school facility and the area has only one primary school. So we are providing them with access to education through the learning centres,” said Ms Kim.
“Our aim, through the CLCs, is to bring hope to remote areas in Sub-Saharan Africa through education.”
She said the facilities also boasted a cafeteria for the kindergarteners, a kitchen, dining room, sleeping room and a solar water pump courtesy of South Korean carmaker Hyundai.
She said that they had also involved the surrounding communities in the project to change their “dependency attitude to an ownership mindset”.
“To sustain the project we introduced poultry and vegetable gardening to help them raise income for their daily needs,” Ms Kim said.
“During the construction, we had more than 100 volunteers with men building while women were fetching water.
“The community has had to see that it’s their project and it’s important for their community development.”
She added that the project was funded by well-wishers from South Korea, while the government of Lesotho also pledged to pay for the students’ tuition.
The project is also being run in South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi and Zimbabwe.