Education System in Lesotho

PrimaryPrimary school6–137Education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 13
MiddleJunior Secondary School13–163Certificate/Diploma awarded: Junior Certificate (JC), administered originally by the Examinations Council of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland, but more recently by the Lesotho Ministry of Education.
SecondaryHigh School16–182Certificate/Diploma awarded: Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) Examinations at the Ordinary (O) level.
SecondaryTechnical Secondary School16–193Technical Vocational Diploma (Senior Secondary + or 3 years TVET)
TertiaryTeacher Training/Education in Technical Subjects18–202Certificate/Diploma awarded
TertiaryBachelor4–5National University of Lesotho (NUL) is the only university in the Kingdom of Lesotho
TertiaryDoctorate (PhD)3 

Primary Education

The Lesotho government enacted legislation during 2010 that provided for free education for all its citizens, and this process is currently being rolled out. Following optional early childhood care, children enroll for 7 years of primary schooling that begins at age 6.

Secondary Education

The 256 secondary schools that are over 90% church-owned serve a theoretical student population of almost 100,000, of which less than 50% have traditionally attended high school. It remains to be seen how this system can support an influx of students now that education is free for all. It is likely that many pupils will continue to leave for work after the completion of their 8th grade, and that only a tiny elite will make it through to qualifying for university by passing their grade 10.

Vocational Education

Students with a more practical orientation can switch to a technical and vocational education stream for 3 years after completing their grade 8. This will prepare them for further technical training at tertiary level.

Tertiary Education

Lesotho EducationThe 3 main tertiary education institutions in Lesotho are the Lesotho Agricultural College, the National University of Lesotho, and the University’s International School.

The University campus illustrated here was established in 1975 in the Roma Valley not far from the capital city of Maseru. Its faculties include agriculture, education sciences, health, law, social sciences, science & technology, and humanities, and it is well accredited internationally.

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