SEVENTY primary school teachers from four districts gathered this week at Mamohato Children’s Centre in Thaba Bosiu under the banner of the Lesotho Literacy Leap Conference to share experiences and map out strategies of improving literacy in the country.
Lesotho Literacy Leap Coordinator and Principal at Thabana-Tṧoana Primary School in Mazenod, Setempe Phoka told the Lesotho Times that the conference which ended yesterday was facilitated by Lesotho Wales Link.
The conference was attended by teachers from the Thaba-Tseka, Maseru, Quthing and Qacha’s Nek districts. In addition, 35 education professionals from other districts also attended.
Mr Phoka said Lesotho Literacy Leap is a teacher-training programme for Basotho Primary teachers who have received donated books from the United Kingdom (UK) based charity School Aid.
“It provides training, resources and mentoring on how to teach English Phonics using active strategies, and how to develop independent reading and writing for their learners,” Mr Phoka said, adding, “This was the final training event for ‘lead literacy teachers’ from these Districts”.
“During the three days, the workshop focused on themes such as Literacy for Life where they looked at how to create literacy rich and successful schools.
“With Every Child Matters, the focus was on how to create an inclusive classroom and there was also Successful Futures where they looked at how to develop partnerships for change.”
Mr Phoka said the programme was introduced in 2013 by the Lesotho Wales Link with the objective of improving the literacy in schools because it was very important for learners to be able to spell and know the sound of vowels.
“Wales and Lesotho have had a unique country-to-country link for over 30 years. We have worked in every district with our Lesotho Teacher Placement Programme and in the three lowest education performing districts with our Lesotho Literacy Leap project since 2013.
“Four of our teachers are currently working in Thaba Tseka schools for five months and aim to: mentor teachers to improve the performance of their learners, raise literacy levels, provide an opportunity for three Basotho teachers to visit Wales and help lead school improvement upon their return whilst building a strong partnership with a link school in Wales,” Mr Phoka said.
He said after the conference all education stakeholders were expected to implement all the recommendations at district level to ensure that the standard of literacy is improved at school for the benefit of learners because it was important that they excelled in reading and writing.