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Archibald Lesao Lehohla

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Training

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Born in 1946. Completed high school education in 1965. Obtained Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS) in 1970. Admitted to Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in 1975 and Master of Arts degree in 1982 at Oxford University. Was a Mathematics Teaching Assistant at UBLS from 1971 to 1972.. Became a teacher at Bereng High School from 1975 to 1976 and promoted to Headmaster from 1977 to 1993. Elected into the National Assembly in 1993 and was appointed Minister of Home Affairs. Became Minister of Transport, Posts and Communications in 1995. Has been Minister of Education from 1996 to 2002. Following the 2002 General Parliamentary Elections was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Training.

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Textbook Rental Scheme in Secondary Education

Expansion of access to basic education, including junior secondary education, remains our priority in our quest towards education for all by 2015. Besides being one of the heaviest costs to parents, textbooks remain the key learning materials in junior secondary education. The government of Lesotho, with assistance from the International Development Agency (IDA) of the World Bank introduced a textbook rental scheme in secondary education from the beginning of 2004. The government provide the initial capitation of the scheme starting with the first form of secondary education. Our intention is that each school will run it's own textbook revolving fund into which rental fees paid by parents would be invested for future purchase of replacement and additional books.

The scheme has benefited 26, 000 students in the first year of implementation and it is envisaged that after three years a total of 120,000 students will be covered. This number represents 84% of the total secondary school going age population in Lesotho.

Following our successful textbook rental scheme at primary level since the early 1980s, we are confident that this scheme will succeed not only in drastically reducing the cost of textbooks to parents, but will liberate the book market while ensuring that the quality of textbooks used in our secondary schools improves. The prospect of having a one-to-one student-textbook ratio for all the core subjects in secondary education within the next three years gives us great hope that the quality of learning in secondary education will be significantly enhanced.

As our enrolments in primary education continue to increase under our Free Primary Education programme, we are obliged to render secondary education more attractive, accessible and affordable to the poorer section of our society. By reducing the cost of textbooks to parents and ensuring availability of good quality books to the junior secondary students, we hope to improve both access, quality and relevance of basic education for all our people.