A BRIEF HISTORY OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION IN LESOTHO

The arrival of Catholic missionaries in Lesotho in 1862 was a major breakthrough in the development of Catholic Education in Lesotho. It is important to note that when the Catholic missionaries arrived in 1862 the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society had already built 50 schools. This was a concern for the Catholic Church as Catholic schooling was lagging behind. It was at this point in time that the church decided to develop Catholic Education in Lesotho. The church also realized that it needed to extend the salvific mission across the country and that Catechism needed to be taught to the children. This was a challenge for the church because they needed funds to build schools and pay teachers. The missionaries established schools in the remotest of parts of Lesotho and used church halls as schools where they could not afford to build schools. This served many children who would otherwise not have had access to education.   The Grey Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, Holy Family Sisters, Holy Names Sisters, Holy Cross Sisters, the Marist Brothers and Brothers of the Sacred Heart played a pivot role in the establishment and organization of schools in the country under the first apostolic vicar Fr. Cenez in 1909 when Lesotho became an Apostolic Vicariate. Fr. Odilon Chevrier was put in charge of schools in around 1930/1 as the work of the church had intensified in the development of Catholic education. This was when Catholic Education in Lesotho was consolidated.

Initially the rationale behind teaching reading and writing was to enhance the absorption of Biblical and Christian values wherever possible in the country. The prime motive of the Catholic Church was the evangelization of the whole Christian person. It was after the declaration made by the Bishop De Mazenod to his priestly congregation that they should not “ ….waste their time trying to convert a few heretics when there are two million Africans waiting to receive Good News,” that the missionaries began to ensure that they establish sound educational institutions in Lesotho.”(Mailhot; 2000:27).

In view of this mission, the Catholic Church came to realize the need for the establishment of the Catholic Schools Secretariat (CSS) through which teachers’ affairs across the country could be handled and administered effectively in line with government policies of the time. Catholic Schools today still remain places where integral formation occurs, where culture and faith are integrated and where formation of the entire person occurs. Currently the Catholic Church is the largest proprietor of schools in Lesotho owning 75% of schools in the country.

VISION STATEMENT:

Catholic Schools Secretariat Vision is:

To grow into a sustainable organization which provides excellent educational services to (but not limited to) Catholic schools.

MISSION STATEMENT

The Catholic Schools Secretariat aims to:

  • Foster a Catholic ethos and develop RE in our schools.
  • Develop school management teams and school administrators to manage schools effective and efficiently.

This is achieved through regular training, mentoring and monitoring in collaboration with all our stakeholders and partners.

Activities of the CSS

The Catholic Church has established and continues to establish schools offering education from early childhood, through primary, secondary and tertiary levels. There are six hundred (600) Catholic schools in Lesotho, including two hundred (200) high schools. The Catholic Church today continues to be a major provider of education thus making an ongoing contribution to development and improvement of the quality of life of people in Lesotho.

The main activities of the CSS are listed below:

  • Acts as the liaison body between the Catholic Church and the Government of Lesotho, through the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET).
  • Develops policies, programmes and practices for Catholic schools in line with the church’s teachings
  • Recruits staff;
  • Ensures a holistic curriculum;
  • Develops teachers
  • Strengthens school based management teams
  • Settles labour disputes and enforces disciplines
  • Inspects schools and disseminates information to the various stakeholders in the education system.

CSS STAFF

The CSS has four senior administrative staff and two clerical assistants whose salaries are all paid by the government of Lesotho through MOET.

  1. Educational Secretary-   Networking, policy development and implementation - Ntate Teboho Tolo
  2. Assistant Educational Secretary - Schools Boards Training   - Ntate Molise Lekunutu
  3. Assistant Educational Secretary- Support Schools – Mme ‘Mampesi Lekoekoe
  4. Assistant Educational Secretary- Finance and Fundraising- MMe Lucy Khampane
  5. Assistant Educational Secretary – Placement – Mme Constance Seitlheko
  6. Assistant Educational Secretary – Database and Filing – Mme Monica Motsoko
  7. Religious Education (RE) – Sr Christina Molise

Partners and Affiliates

Government of Lesotho Ministry of Education and Training, Embassy of Japan.

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footer logoPhysical Address

LCBC Building. Catedral Area Opposite Captain Dorego Main North 1, Maseru

Postal Address

P.O. Box 200, Maseru 100

Call Us Now

Caritas Lesotho: 22313284
LCBC                : 22310294