Geschrieben von Irina Andre-Lang
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Start of normal school and matric results in 2020

Since 3rd May 2021, schooling at Pitseng High School has started again. We are so happy that the sponsored students can finally continue with their lessons - after a 15-month break  from school!! Strict hygiene protocols are adhered to in order to prevent teachers and students from becoming infected with the coronavirus. These rules are regularly checked by the Ministry of Health.


Measurement of  temperature before classes start

The temperature of all students is checked and recorded every morning before the classes. All students who show symptoms of a cold or flu or who have a high temperature are immediately sent to the local clinic which is located next to the school, and examined there. Fortunately, no Covid disease has been detected in anyone so far.


Group of sponsored students who should have received glasses which had  failed due to the corona restrictions last year.

On Thursday, 1st July 2021, all sponsored students who complain of eye problems, many of whom need glasses, will travel to the optician in the capital Maseru where they can choose frames for their glasses following an eye examination. Hopefully, they will receive their new glasses very soon afterwards. Some students had to wait for their glasses for almost two years.


This year, the long winter holidays will be much shorter than usual as the students have a lot to catch up after teaching had already fallen victim to the Corona restrictions in the first four months of this school year. The winter holidays will begin on Wednesday, 30th June 2021 and last until the second session of the school year 2021 will begin on 2nd August. All sponsored students in twelfth class will receive additional tuition in the first three weeks of July in preparation for their matric examination at the end of this year. The second session of this school year will also last longer than all other years before and will not end until 17th December when the long summer holidays will start.


Sponsored students  enjoying outdoor activities in a previous Help Lesotho Leadership Camp

During the winter holidays, we are planning the Help Lesotho Leadership Camp, which is highly valued and loved by all sponsored students. Due to the corona restrictions, it cannot take place as usual in the center of the Canadian Aid Organization Help Lesotho in the neighboring town of Leribe. It will probably take the form of a day event in the smaller center of Help Lesotho which is situated close to Pitseng High School. The sponsored students will continue to sleep in their boarding facilities at Pitseng High School and walk from there to this small center every day to take part in the events for five days. The details are currently being worked out to ensure that all corona precautionary measures are observed.


Minors in front of their hut, in which they live in a so-called “child-headed household”.

We very much hope that the camp can take place this year. The psychological support that our sponsored students receive from highly trained psychologists and social workers during the camp is priceless! It is difficult for us to imagine everyday life at home during school closings. They live with parents or relatives in small huts with no possibility of retreat, without electricity, running water or sanitary facilities. The option of teaching via the Internet is non-existent. Some sponsored students are orphans and lived completely on their own and without any help of adults in desolate huts for the 14 months when the school was closed. Most of our sponsored students reported observing hunger and dying around them in their letters. They will have to cope with this extra difficult time.


The hall of Pitseng High School during matric exam in late March 2021

On 28th May 2021, the matric results 2020, which had only been written the end of March 2021 due to Corona, were published in Lesotho. Due to the almost total lack of education for a whole school year, we did not have high expectations regarding the academic success of our sponsored students.


Photo of all 30 sponsored students in matric class with Mpho on the far left and Makabelo on the far right, February 2020


30 sponsored students attended matric class in 2020, 29 of them wrote their matric exam. One student had a baby around the time of the matric exam and was therefore unable to take part. Of the 29 sponsored matric students, 12 (41%) managed to pass their matric exam, unfortunately 17 (59%) did not. All sponsored students of the 2020 matric class will have the option to repeat the twelfth grade and the matric examination in 2021. Some students who passed overall would still have no chance of receiving a bursary for a tertiary education because their grades are not good enough. By repeating the twelfth grade they might have the chance to improve enough for a university admission. At the moment we are waiting for all former high school graduates to decide whether they want to take up the offer for a repeat or not. Each sponsor will be informed individually how the result of their sponsored student turned out and whether she/he will repeat the school year.


We hope that schooling at Pitseng High School will now continue uninterrupted. The consequences of another school closure are difficult to imagine. People's social situations are becoming more and more precarious. Winter has already arrived at full force with heavy snowfalls and low temperatures. Children in need are best looked after at school, where they can be adequately supplied with food and warmth.


So far there has not been a third corona wave in Lesotho, but one can observe the beginnings in the neighboring state South Africa. The development of these two countries mostly runs parallel and so it is to be expected that it will also affect Lesotho. In South Africa only a minimal proportion of the population has been vaccinated against Corona. In Lesotho a total of 36.637 people have been vaccinated so far (1.71% of the population). Only 0.01% of the population are fully vaccinated. As of 17th June 2021, 10.950 positive corona cases had been diagnosed in Lesotho and 326 people officially died of Covid 19.


We would like to thank all donors and sponsors who have stood with us through this challenging time and who financially support children in need in Lesotho!