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Driving change, brick by brick!



Lemohang Rakotsoane



SIGMA Construction and the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) last Wednesday handed over two classroom blocks to Ntsane Primary School in Lifateng.

The classrooms were built as part of the company and bank’s programme of giving back to the community.

The classrooms were handed over to the principal, ’Mabakuena Mokhali.

“We are grateful that we were given the opportunity to bring about change in the lives of this community,” said Napo Makara, Director of Sigma Construction.

“It is our expectation that the school will produce future leaders of this country because it is through education that we can be able to change our world.”

He said CBL and Sigma “are aware that it is difficult for learners to learn in an environment that is not suitable”.

“Learners’ comfort in a school starts with quality infrastructure and to ensure that this infrastructure does not wither we pledge to give you paint to maintain the school every five years,” Makara said.

Mahooana Mahooana, on behalf of the CBL governor, said the bank is aware of the role education plays in society.

“It is not the first time that we have assisted the school. In 2013 we helped the school with the construction of toilets and the furnishing of classrooms and today we are proud to be able to hand over two classrooms,” Mahooana said.

The village chief of Lifateng Ha-Ntsane, Lesaoana Ntsane, said due to the condition of the school a lot of parents moved their children to other schools.

“Inadequate infrastructure and inadequate number of teachers made a lot of parents doubt the quality of education children received at the school and therefore chose to take their children to other schools,” Lesaoana said.

“Our school was not in a good condition at all but as the community we prayed incessantly asking God to help our school to be like other schools”.

“Finally, our prayers are being answered,” Lesaoana said.

The chief said it is now up to the parents to make sure that they take their children to the school.

“Stop forcing children to look after your livestock at a time when they are supposed to be at school. We do not want our children to be like us, without education,” he said.

“We are struggling and a lot of us end up being involved in crimes.”

He also pleaded with the Minister of Education Mahali Phamotse to increase the number of teachers at the school.

Phamotse, who also attended the ceremony, said it is only through collaboration with the private sector that “we can be able to solve a lot of problems facing our society”.

“If we can only understand that each has a role to play and do our assigned tasks well we will get far,” Phamotse said.

She added that the ministry is aware of the problems teachers have to endure in their work.

“We recognise that the world in general is in an economic crisis and this affects most countries like Lesotho and we realise that the Central Bank does not have money,” Phamotse said.

“However, they still saw the need to help not because they have the resources but because they saw the vulnerability of this community and for that we are grateful because the government alone cannot bring about developments for everyone but together we can,” she said.

She added that parents should ensure that all children get education.

“Let me tell you that we are working towards strengthening our policies and laws. Soon parents you will be arrested if you are found to have a child who does not go to school,” Phamotse said.

Ntsane Primary School was established 44 years ago by the Anglican Church missionaries to serve Lifateng and nearby villages.

It was just a thatch roofed room in which all grades were crammed.

Years later the Christian Council of Lesotho built three modern classrooms but the shortage of space persisted. The school has 118 pupils but the additional classrooms are expected to attract more students.

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