Pupils engage in fruit tree planting campaign 

By ‘Mamohaila Rampo

MASERU

Through the support of Econet Telecom Lesotho (ETL) and the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO, GEM Institute Lesotho performed a sod turning ceremony to mark the beginning of the first Agri-innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub by a planting 44 apple trees and 44 peach trees at Lesotho High School on Wednesday.

This was the pioneering of the National School Drive project which will see participation of two high schools – Lesotho High School and ‘Mabathoana High Shool.

GEM Institute founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mpho Mateke Letima said the project was created to fight unemployment for youth, she edged students to take responsibility and protect the trees. Letima said this initiative helps students to learn to become independent and attract wealth at a young stage. Letima also believes that this is a lifetime project that will be passed on from generation to generation.

She acknowledged ETL for sponsoring them with the trees and called for lasting relations. She also thanked Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO under theMinistry of Education and Training (MoET) constitution for supporting the initiative which will greatly improve the lives of Basotho.

In an interview with Informative Newspaper, Letima explained that GEM Institute collaborated with the different schools, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation (MGSYR), Communication, Science and Technology and that of Education and Training.

Meanwhile, Lesotho High School Teacher Thabo Kabi stated that through this project, they are rekindling Education With Production (EWP) that had failed a long time during a times of King Moshoeshoe 11. He said the pyramid of enrollment for high school students is very unclear because most of the students get into grade 8 but few make it out of grade 12, Kabi suspects it is because of lack of finances for some families. He, thus, said EWP will help them make a living for themselves and reduce the number of school dropouts. He added that through the implementation of this project, students will gain a lot of knowledge about planting and harvesting of fruits. They will also open market for themselves through this project.          

ETL General Manager Marketing and Customer Experience ‘Mapusetso Ntšekhe encouraged the students to take good care of the trees and be sure to water them, she said the project will begin at Lesotho High School and go on to ‘Mabathoana High School while other schools will follow.