Life Skills for National Development in Lesotho: Can ODL Do it?
Regardless of their diversity in culture, economic conditions and social and political structures, developing countries share a set of common and well defined goals. The introduction of Life skills education at both basic and tertiary education was meant among other things to improve all aspects of the quality education, ensuring equitable access to appropriate learning and facilitating Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) initiatives. The purpose of the paper was to explore the main components of life skills programmes in place at Lesotho education system to address development problems such as poverty reduction, preventing spread of HIV/AIDS and alcohol and drug abuse. The study examined how the programmes were implemented and evaluated at Primary schools, Secondary schools and institutions of higher learning. Qualitative data was collected through document review and analysis; interviews of policy-makers in the Ministry of Education and Training, Deans of the Faculty of Education in the institutions of higher learning, principals, education officers and curriculum developers. The findings highlight a number of issues and potentials emanating from assessment and evaluation, quality and teacher capacity in the delivery of the programmes. In order to fully address equity and access of essential life skills, the study recommends that the government of Lesotho should also consider delivering the programmes through Open and Distance learning mode and to learners participating in ODL.