Lesotho: Covid-19 Exposes Inequalities in Lesotho - King

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The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the disparities in the distribution of Lesotho's resources, His Majesty King Letsie III has said.

King Letsie III made the remarks during a virtual graduation of 2017 National University of Lesotho (NUL) students last Saturday.

The NUL's 45th graduation saw King Letsie III hosting only a limited number of the university officials at the Royal Palace.

Among the graduates was Development and Planning Minister Selibe Mochoboroane who graduated with a Master's degree in Development Studies.

While the rest of the students were at home, only NUL lecturer Kabelo Ramolula was at the Royal Palace. He graduated with a PHD in Literature in English.

King Letsie III warned that the graduants were facing a tough task of weighing professional choices at a time when economic and social options were diminishing.

"Today's ceremony, marks a different passage to a new stage of your lives, the stage where, under normal circumstances, you must make decisions about your professional and indeed your personal lives," King Letsie III said.

"We are nonetheless fully aware that life is more challenging than it has ever been. Making such choices will never be easy...

"Covid-19 has shaken up the statusquo and laid bare a lot of our country's deep-seated problems, from massive economic inequalities to inadequacies in our basic health care. It has woken up a lot of young people to the fact that the old ways of doing things can no longer work.

"We are now more aware that the level of your personal wealth counts for little if everyone around you is hungry or sick; and we are aware that our society and democracy can only work if we put the needs of other above the needs of self."

NUL Vice Chancellor Professor Kananelo Mosito challenged the cabinet, MPs and the judiciary to follow on Mr Mochoboroane's example by advancing their leadership skills.

"Among the 2017 graduants, I am pleased to announced that we have on cabinet minister who is graduating with a Masters of Arts in Development Studies; Honourable Selibe Mochoboroane... I therefore, take this opportunity to invite all Members of Parliament, the Judiciary and the Cabinet to emulate this minister.

"An exemplary citizen is made, not born. Just as we learn mathematics and languages, we should also become specialists in those lessons that are fundamental to living in harmony and social progress such as respect, empathy, equality, solidarity and critical thinking. Without these and other ethical principles that define us as human beings, it will be difficult for us to build a better Lesotho," Prof Mosito said.

Prof Mosito said the NUL was in the process of reviewing its policy documents in line with its strategic plans adding that the university was also restructuring academic programmes with a view to transitioning to fully-fledged semesterisation.

"The university is enroute to reviewing the existing university strategic plan. The current strategic plan has been extended by a year to enable the university to come up with a new strategic plan.

"The university is continuing in earnest to grow the doctoral staff in line with the policy of improving the international visibility and ranking of the university," Prof Mosito said.

The university is aspiring to effectively address its institutional needs to improve its information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. This is even more imperative now that the institution is now offering online tuition due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Prof Mosito said.

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