Like any other year, we started the 2020 academic year with plans well made in advance and with hopes and aspirations for the fulfillment of those dreams. All of a sudden, the invisible enemy tagged COVID-19, slowly and carefully crept in on unnoticed. As its impact begins to spread globally like a wild fire, it successfully forced global shutdown of several activities, including educational activities.
On Thursday March 19th 2020, schools in Lesotho were asked to close and we immediately went back to the drawing board and came up with plan of actions which served as a guide for us to manage and control the 2020 COVID-19 academic year. In order to ensure each of our students continue to have access to education, complete their academic year, ready for examinations and progress to the next level irrespective of the pandemic, we set to work providing online learning to all our students as early as Friday 20th March 2020.
The migration of our classes from onsite learning to online was not very easy especially at the beginning. We had set backs such as the choice of online platform, data usage, technical knowhow, attendance and response from the student, non-payment of school fees and the likes. The good thing is that those setbacks never set us back in our aspirations. Instead, they stretched us and made us tougher as the going get touch. Collectively, we were responding, investing time and resources, taking decisions and implementing actions.
At this point, we are proud to say December 4th 2020, we successfully completed the 2020 academic year.
The table below shows how we conclude the year.
|Cambridge Final Year Examinations 2020 (External)|
|Grade 7 Primary Checkpoint||7th October||17th October|
|Grade 9 Secondary Checkpoint (JC)||5th October||16th October|
|IGCSE||2nd October||17th November|
|AS/A Level||1st October||18th November|
|End of Year Examination 2020|
|Grade 1 – 6||30th November||4th December|
|Grade 8 & 10||30th November||4th December|
We wish to express our sincere gratitude to as many who contributed to the success:First and foremost, the Ministry of Education and Training for granting our request to call the students for onsite learning. With their support and confidence in us, we had the students for onsite learning during the course of the year: • External students: 10th June to 17th July 2020 • External students: 31st August to 17th November 2020. • Internal students (High School): 26th October to 4th December 2020 • Internal students: (Primary): 9th November to 4th December 2020
Having students onsite really helped to prepare the externals for final examinations, as we were able to cover the syllabus, revise and make amendment as they write. In the same manner, we were able to make adjustment and progress from the work done online for the internals and to run the end of the year examinations onsite for official promotion.
Thanks to the team that worked tirelessly and unreservedly all through the year, Soofia’s teaching and non-teaching staff. The plans worked because each member of the team worked. The readiness of the teaching staff to always adjust and adapt, learn, unlearn and relearn played a key role in the running of the online classes and in the success of the year.
The management would also like to appreciate the staff for the understanding showed when the school was forced to go for 40% deferred payment for 2 months due to the financial constraints imposed on the school by the COVID. We are very hopeful all these would be settled together with the December salary.
Thanks to the management of the school for having confidence in the office of the principal by approving all plans outlined. The risks taken by the office of the principal even when there is no clear idea of how the future would look like have surely paid off. Stating goals, outlining a strategic plan for achieving those goals and equipping each member to take action on the plan at the administrative, team and individual levels indeed worked for us. The collaboration with Vodacom Lesotho for free data access to our Google online platform, coupled with the discount given to the parents on school fees contributed enormously to the success story.
Lastly, we would like to say thank to our dear parents for their cooperation and support in the area of the school fees and for the confidence they had in us especially when we have to bring the children to school in the midst of the pandemic.
As we wind up the year 2020, we issued out the end of year reports on 8th and 9th December and we look forwards to academic year 2021 beginning 11th January. COVID or not, we hope for a better and more successful academic year.
We wish you a merry Christmas and happy new year in advance.