Read letters from our students about how they are coping with COVID here
March 11, 2021 COVID Update
Minderman, President, QMC Board of Directors
news! All schools in Lesotho have reopened for the 2021 school year. This
is taking place in stages to allow for social distancing and COVID regulations.
students were not able to attend school for six months or more last year, but
teachers will use Saturdays, holiday and summer vacations as regular school
days in order to make up for lost teaching and learning days.
High School is currently working on admitting students for the new school year,
and we will have word in a few weeks with names, class lists and information on
any students not returning. We will then send our sponsors an update. We
are also working closely with faculty to ensure that each sponsor receives a
photograph and letter from their student. Requests for tuition payment
(if not already received) will be made once we know more about attendance.
sponsors: please know that now is a crucial time to continue supporting these
children and to keep them in school. Times are very difficult as Lesotho suffers
from the pandemic and a dramatic loss of family jobs as the borders to South
Africa, where many parents worked, are closed. As always, we greatly
appreciate your support.
COVID Update - January 29, 2021
Lesotho is experiencing an exponential rise in cases in 2021, with cases surging. Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro last week announced a nationwide lockdown to stem the tide of infections and deaths.
The borders and airports are closed, there is no inter-district travel allowed, a 8 pm – 6 am curfew is enforced and people are told to stay home. Not doing so can result in fines and imprisonment.
According to South Africa’s Eyewitness News: "All businesses would be closed except those in the health, financial and funeral sectors, while essential services involving food and fuel would be allowed to operate.”
Lesotho is a country of 2.2 million people. It was the last country on the continent to report a case of the virus, having closed its borders early in the pandemic.
As of 1/29/21 the World Health Organization reports 8278 reported cases with a total of 160 deaths.
A quote from a Qholaqhoe High School Student, written January 6, 2021.
Last year we did not go to school because there was a sickness called corona virus or COVID 19 that kills people badly. This virus is very dangerous. It starts from China and comes to other countries until it reaches into our country.
And when it reached our country we go to level 4. In Level 4 everything closes and we stay at home. Outside were soldiers and police going up and down looking at the people who are going up and down. When they find people they beat them badly.
The people are going outside when they are going to buy their needs only. All shops are closed except the ones who sell food. The shop that sells clothes are closed and the shops that sell food are open.
COVID Update - January 28, 2021
The following updates from our current National University of Lesotho students help us understand the difficulty facing them during the COVID 19 pandemic. All eight students have now returned to their rural home villages, as NUL has closed, country wide COVID cases have severely risen and there is a country-wide lockdown with all borders closed. We are in regular contact with the students, their families and the administration at NUL. We will keep you updated. Thank you for your support.
Karabo Tjoobe, third year BA Law.
"Due to COVID 19 pandemic we have been unable to attend physical class and school management has resorted to online learning. Students are given documents through a platform (Thuto), to read on their own and then after some time we discuss with the lecturer remotely. This has not been effective and students decided to boycott classes. To me, it is the worst time ever, now over two weeks of no learning. Apart from that, the library is still accessible and I still have time to read ahead on what we were taught before the strike. I am good.”
Mapula Talime, second year BA Social Work:
"We are now on 3 full weeks without engaging on any form of learning because of the strike. Students want physical classes as it has come to realization that the online learning is not effective. This week it was stated that everything will be ok next week. May God bless and save you.”
Home Mota, first year BA Social Work.
"Even though summer is one of the seasons that I so enjoy, this year corona virus infections made me to live with fear. QMC students in particular, we feel like it somehow denies us an opportunity to make ourselves, our dear sponsors and our parents be proud of us. NUL has resorted to online method of teaching, but teachers just upload the notes without elaborating them. What is so heartbreaking is that while on strike, the time is moving but I so hope the situation will be better.”
Ts’epang Matli, fourth year BA Social Work.
It’s about two and half months being back at NUL and things are not similar to previous times due to COVID pandemic. Learning is through online and there are lots of struggles with this kind of learning because we are not used to it. I was still coping until everything just stopped due to student boycott. I am just hoping that things will go back to normal soon so that we can move on with our studies since time is not on our side. This semester will be very short so we need to cover the content and proceed to next semester. Online learning we are only provided with materials to read but we can’t ask questions where we don’t understand. There is also scarcity of time because each lecture is allocated an hour per day. However, I will be used to it and even adapt to this kind of learning. This is much stressing. I will always promise you the best results. I will never disappoint QMC.”
Moeling Ts’oenyana, third year, BA Humanities:
"Where am I at this time with on-line learning. I think online learning is pretty good because this is information age, and the world, every school somehow uses online. We have to get used to it or we will not move on in life. It was a bit challenging at the beginning but now I get used to it, which is nice, I think. I would like to take this opportunity to thank QMC. You have made a very big difference in my life personally and I believe one day I will contribute by sponsoring some kids under QMC scholarship, just like it happened to me. You have my promise that I will push through to the end of my school journey.”
Itumeleng Lengala, third year, BA Law :
"Physically I’m doing well although I am little bit lost some time while I contemplated more about my mom’s death but then I’m fine now. Academically it’s a little bit different; students are on strike; they don’t want to learn online and they demand 3GB data per student. No classes until school management answers their pleadings.”
COVID Update - January 13, 2021
Two days ago all schools in Lesotho, public and private, were ordered to close due to surges in COVID cases. The Lesotho Health Ministry expects vaccines to become available in April of 2021. All borders with South Africa are again closed and no travel to Lesotho is possible.
QHS Principal, Mme Mamare Mossasee has indicated that information from the Lesotho Ministry of Education has been unreliable and schools have scrambled to adhere to COVID regulations. We are assuming schools will remain closed for quite a while.
Some QHS students have been out of school for most of the year, others have been able to attend for only a few weeks or months. Form C and E (grades 10 and 12) students are scheduled to attend for one day only, in order to take their national exams.
QMC board members are working with QHS staff to find the best way to electronically send student letters and to receive sponsor letters as post offices are often closed and mail delivery is not dependable. Several of our sponsors have received letters recently via a faculty member's personal iPhone photo and email.
QMC is working closely with QHS staff on helping our students, and we will continue to provide updates. This is truly a devastating health pandemic, especially for countries with poor health resources, food supplies and extreme poverty.
For more information:
Lesotho COVID official statistics: https://www.gov.ls
US Embassy Lesotho: https://ls.usembassy.gov