n Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies - Revitalising self-reliance in Lesotho schools through the integrated curriculum (2009) and community participation

Volume 10 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2141-6990
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The introduction of the integrated curriculum (2009) in Lesotho was aimed at inculcating creativity, practicality, productivity and entrepreneurship among learners, and preparing them to be self-reliant while at school and beyond. This newly introduced curriculum replaced the old examination-oriented curriculum, which was perceived as being too academic, and which prepared learners for scarce white-collar jobs. Thus, the traditional examination-oriented curriculum had become irrelevant for solving today’s practical challenges of hunger, poverty and unemployment, particularly in developing countries such as Lesotho. The new integrated curriculum (2009) generated hope that the culture of self-reliance, which had become dormant at Lesotho schools, could be revitalised and strengthened. The significance of the study to policy makers and policy implementers is two-pronged: it is to improve the understanding of self-reliance, and how best self-reliance could be implemented to be successful and sustainable. Thus, the study will have a positive impact in the operationalisation and implementation of the integrated curriculum (2009). The study was carried out through a review of literature on self-reliance, integrated curriculum and community participation. Literature reveals that self-reliance has always been present in Lesotho communities, and this should have informed the content of the integrated curriculum (2009), in order to revitalise and strengthen self-reliance in Lesotho schools. There is clearly a need to redefine the concept of self-reliance, given today’s contexts. It appears that past definitions of self-reliance recognise community participation, while recent definitions do not. The study emphasizes the centrality of community participation in self-reliance projects in Lesotho schools, because Yosso’s (2005) community cultural wealth theory affirms that every community has an abundance of wealth, assets, skills, resources, and indigenous knowledge needed for survival and self-reliance, which can benefit schools and learners immensely.

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