His Majesty King Letsie III in his capacity as the Chancellor of the National University of Lesotho (NUL) says the establishment of the School of Engineering is an initiative intended to expand programmes aimed at providing the kind of education that can respond well to the market needs for students.
His Majesty said this in his remarks at the second Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the 13th NUL Council that took place in Roma, Maseru on Monday.
He said the establishment of the school is long overdue and once started, it will cut the costs of students who want to pursue their studies in the field of engineering outside the country by half and it will motivate more Basotho students to enroll in the programme to make a positive impact on the country's economy.
He congratulated the university for the initiative and other activities that are being implemented towards the improvement of NUL.
His Majesty congratulated NUL for starting 2018 on a high note as it hosted a conference on Science, Technology and Innovation issues as well as an expo, saying both events gave chance to students and researchers from locally and internationally to meet and turn good ideas into practice.
He encouraged the Council and the rest of the University community to sustain the spirit of hard work and cooperation throughout the year for further development of the institution.
He said the role that science, technology and innovation play in the improvement of human life is significant and underscored their relevance in agriculture, adding that as the Ambassador of Nutrition issues in Africa, he is looking forward to seeing science, technology and innovation playing a vital role in agriculture and sustainable food security in Lesotho for all.
His Majesty reminded members of the Council of their role to govern, manage and regulate affairs of the University including finances and property, saying their contribution towards the development of NUL is highly appreciative.
Speaking at the same event, the Minister of Education and Training Prof. Ntoi Rapapa said government is committed to fully support the establishment of the School of Engineering within the Campus, saying sports academy is also in the pipeline of being established to promote sporting activities in and outside the campus.
Prof. Rapapa said the Ministry is aware that NUL aligns itself to the National Vision 2020 and had gone beyond the classroom lessons because of the projects that it (NUL) is engaged in despite challenges it is facing that include funding and grievances of staff and students over the past years, highlighting that NUL management managed to address the challenges.
Furthermore, he applauded NUL for providing the books of accounts to help the Ministry to see how allocation of funds has been utilised.
He said the Ministry is also aware of the challenges in education sector, saying education should be put at a highest place so that it gets proper recognition both locally and internationally in terms of funding.
Also speaking was the Chairperson of the NUL Council, Mr. Tseko Bohloa said funding for higher institutions of learning is key and should be given priority as reforms are being implemented.
He said the council supports the initiatives directed at deepening and strengthening the environment of learning within the University.
The purpose of the meeting was to present the Vice Chancellor's report and audited financial report to members.