An Unforgettable Journey: a School Story

So in the midst of my story about my journey to Lesotho, I had written a note to include the history of the school that i worked at, so I’m including that here. It was not written by me. The principal gave me a handwritten copy of it, so I copied it onto a word document, and now I’m putting it here. It might not be enough details for you to understand everything, but it will give you an idea.

Maphutseng LEC Primary is a famous school in the history of the church. Oral and written history states that it was established around 1896. There had been several principals who devotedly served in this school. One among them was Mr. Peter Sebdai Mantutle who meritoriously served as a principal until 1999.

“It is said that schools in the region of Maphutseng used to gather in this school for quarterly tests and examinations. Within the region, it was the only school which offered the old standard six (1). As a result, many learners came to this school to finish their higher primary level education.

The school was known for its excellent academic results and outstanding performance in sports activities. The school choir, under the conduct of Mr. P. S. Mantutle, was honored by many schools in the southern region. It has produced many young and senior citizens who hold high posts in the government and in the private sectors within and outside the country.

It is obvious therefore that the buildings constructed in 1896 must have stood the tests of harsh weather for many years. This was witnessed by everyone around the area in the middle of the 1990s when the classroom buildings had reached the state of dilapidation. Roofing was easily blown away by any wind that blew. Children were likely to be hurt by the falling walls and metals blown away by wind. It was a heartbreaking situation in 2001 when two classrooms were completely demolished by a very strong wind. The only unreliable building left for 554 pupils was a three classroom building. The school cried out for help from donors, the government, and many other non-governmental organizations.

In 2002, the Microproject Programme under the European Development Fund assisted the school with two classrooms (2). The project was wholeheartedly supported by the church and the parents of the school. However, the school still had a problem of two classes that had no classrooms. The school was therefore bound to continue asking for help from the Ministry of Education and Training, and the Ministry indeed responded and fulfilled its promises in 2008 by building four classrooms, the office including a staff room and a store room, toilets(3) for pupils, and two toilets for female and male teachers.

The school was grateful to the Ministry for rescuing the school because the conditions before the construction of the buildings had badly affected the teaching and learning in the school.”


(1) Remember from a previous post that students have to take an exam in 7th grade. Before that was instituted, it used to be that they took an exam in 6th grade, so MLECPS was one of the only school to even offer this opportunity to children living in the Maphutseng valley.

(2) These two classrooms are currently the kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. Before the classrooms were built, most of the younger grades met under trees for their learning because older grades needed a classroom with desks, a chalkboard, etc.

(3) Note that toilets mean separate brick outhouses with multiple stalls for girls and boys. During my time there, I fixed 4 of the stalls by reinstalling the doors that had fallen from their hinges and trimming the sides of the door to make them fit better in their door frames. In addition, I fixed the locks and door handles so that students could actually lock the stalls when they were using them.


~ by randallkoehler on November 4, 2012.

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