Stakeholders' perceptions of factors influencing the adoption and implementation fo life skills education cirriculum: A case study of post-primary schools in lesotho

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Globally, Life Skills Education (LSE) is a component of school curricula that has been of considerable scholarly interest recently, especially in education. Raphael defines LSE as "a methodology for helping children and adolescents cope with their life situation, develop decision-making and problem solving skills, and evaluate risks and respond appropriately" (2006:5). The study aimed at investigating stakeholders' perceptions of factors influencing the adoption, development and implementation of Life Skills Education in post primary school in Lesotho. In this study, "post-primary schools" refers to grades 9-10. The main objectives of this study were: To explore stakeholders' perceptions about factors influencing the adoption, development and implementation of Life Skills education in post-primary pilot schools in Lesotho. To analyze the role and impact of the broader political, social, cultural and economic environment in which Life Skills Education is adopted, developed and implemented in post-primary pilot schools in Lesotho. To carry out this case study, the researcher followed a qualitative approach. To collect data, 22 semi-structured one to one interviews were held with education officers from the government and overseas donors, principals, teachers and parents. LSE training manuals were also analysed. It is evident that the crisis of HIV/AIDS in the country motivated the government's initiative to introduce LSE in the schools. However, the take up of the project was not smooth. The prominent reason was lack of consensus within the MOET, which led to many other unresolved issues that weakened other stages of the curriculum development. Secondly, it took the MOET six months to develop LSE curriculum and thus led to many more gaps in the curriculum planning and development. The project had strong support from the Lesotho government. This suggested more chances for it to have been a success. Nonetheless, omissions were made that weakened the support from other authorities and relevant stakeholders. In addition, lack of supervision, follow-up and retraining of teachers affected negatively the reception and implementation of the project in the pilot schools. Although the project was piloted for sufficient length of time (one year), it had no monitoring package. Moreover, the review that was done (Visser-Valfery 2008) took place long after the piloting period, thus, this is likely to have not benefited the development of the project much. Parents are aware young do engage in premarital sex, and, are at the centre of the pandemic, and thus showed a great support for the project and willingness to support teachers' through assignments. Life Skills Education remains the best option for curbing HIV/AIDS pandemic and protects young people against HIV/AIDS, with a solid research base of practice and theory. It is commendable that the MOET realize the need to reach young people with HIV/AIDS prevention message through the school curriculum. For a sustainable development of this programme, there is a need for the MOET to ensure full participation of relevant stakeholders and give time long enough for advocacy and trainings of stakeholders at both the central and district level.

Includes bibliographical references.