Tunis, 4 April 2007 – The African Development Fund Board of Directors in Tunis today approved a loan of 1.57 million Units of Account* (US$ 2.4 billion or 17 million maloti) and a grant of UA 7 million (US$ 10.5 million or 77 million maloti) to finance an education quality enhancement project in Lesotho.
The project seeks to improve the efficiency of the education system and access to quality education and training. It primarily targets the underprivileged and the poor deprived areas of Lesotho.
The project will help strengthen primary education through capacity building, especially through the training of teaching and administrative/supervisory staff, as well as curriculum development and assessment. With regard to secondary education, schools will be extended on existing sites, and others constructed on new sites on the basis of an agreed schoolbuilding programme.
Teaching and learning conditions will be improved and enhanced through well-equipped classrooms provided with a wide range of instructional materials that include textbooks, as well as teaching and learning aids for secondary schools.
Quality in terms of learning outcomes will be measured at project completion using criteria such as reading ability, mathematical and other problem-solving skills, creative ability (cognitive strategies), knowledge of the environment as it relates to the survival of the learner, time on task and other indices as will be indicated in the syllabuses for each level of education.
In-service training will be provided to 1,500 secondary school teachers in new teaching methodologies, and a 6-month bridging course programme will be provided to 200 mathematics teachers and 200 science teachers. Regarding primary education, 1,400 teachers will receive a one-week in-service training in special education; 160 teachers will undergo training of trainers’ courses; 1,600 unqualified teachers will receive an induction to join a diploma programme; 2,200 teachers (3 teachers per school) will benefit from orientation training in appropriate teaching methodologies; 1,400 teachers will be trained as part-time counsellors for anti-HIV/AIDS activities; Inspectors, advisors and tutors, curriculum assessment officers will receive training on inspection and quality assurance.
Regarding skills employability enhancement, 3 additional training rooms will be provided, furnished and equipped (computers, printers, photocopiers, server and UPS, technical drawing software and a plotter) at Lerotholi Polytechnic, a high-level vocational and technical education and training institution which offers a diploma programme and at the Lesotho College of Education (LCE). With a view to expanding access to quality training, one workshop block comprising handicraft and drawing rooms will be constructed at each of a total of 9 schools (seven new and two existing schools).
Since the beginning of its operations in the country in 1974, the African Development Bank has funded 56 operations in Lesotho to the tune of US$ 342 million (2.5 billion Maloti).
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