By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

LERIBE – Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso last week Thursday donated the stationery to Bethel Preschool at Ha-Seetsa, Leribe.

The pupils could not contain their excitement while receiving the gifts from Her Majesty. 

The school’s principal Mamochela Mosothoane expressed her happiness that the gifts will go a long way to help develop the pupils’ literacy skills.

Shoeshoe Mofokeng from Network of Early Child Development of Lesotho (NECDOL) said theirs is the foundation phase wherein they provide strong base for the students and that their expectation is to see a child of three to five years in ECCD centres (early childhood care and development).

“Ours is to enhance early child education,” she said. 

She appealed to the parents and guardians to inculcate love of reading to their children.

Some of the books she said are for pupils’ personal use while some will be school’s property.

For her part, the national teacher trainer, ‘Matlhohonolofatso Ntšonyane said one of the challenges confronting the ECCD schools is that low budget allocation from the government has far reaching consequences as it can compromise the quality of the early childhood education.

The national teacher trainer further said despite the government having implemented free primary education, in Leribe there are over 600 ECCD where parents still pay the school fees. A move she fears will bring a gap between the children from high-income families and those from low income families.

She further mentioned that many kids whose parents cannot afford to pay school fees find themselves out of school.

She said only 28 school ECCD’s have been attached in Leribe whereby the government shoulders the fees and pays the teachers and teachers do not cater for their children’s education.

ECCD centres are usually operated by individuals, non-governmental organisations, local communities and churches.