Lesotho | Global Partnership for Education



Thanks to GPE and other partners’ funding, 11,158 teachers and principals were trained to teach the new curriculum in Lesotho as of 2015.
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Education in Lesotho

The government of Lesotho is committed to making education available to all. Basic education is considered an essential part of social and economic development. As a result, the government has focused on moving toward enrollment expansion and retention.

While Lesotho’s education sector has seen progress in the number of students who start and finish their primary education, there are still disparities across districts. Other issues include a curriculum that is not in line with the needs of the employment market and inadequate facilities.

Lesotho received a GPE grant of $250,000 in 2014 to revise its education sector plan.

The Education Sector Strategic Plan 2016-2026 outlines the following nine objectives:

  1. Reform the national curriculum and assessment system to meet the needs of Lesotho.
  2. Improve access to comprehensive early childhood care and development, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
  3. Increase access to quality free and compulsory Lower Basic Education.
  4. Increase access to quality Secondary Education.
  5. Increase access to Technical and Vocational Education. 
  6. Improve relevance of   programs offered at Higher Learning Institutions.
  7. Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Non-Formal Education delivery
  8. Curb the spread of HIV and AIDS among sector employees, teachers and learners by 2025
  9. Improve strategic information, planning and accountability at all levels of the sector.

The ESP is underpinned by 5 core principles including integrity, responsiveness, innovation, public accountability and commitment to high quality services. 

These are complemented by 11 guiding principles which encompass:

Accessibility and Availability: Education services shall be progressively extended to reach all communities in Lesotho. Special attention shall be given to the disadvantaged regions and underserved communities. 

Affordability: progressive policies will be put in place to reduce burden of school fees on parents with greater attention on vulnerable groups.

Community Participation: Communities shall be actively encouraged and supported to participate in decision-making and planning for Education services. 

Decentralization: In line with the Local Government Act education services shall be delivered to the people of Lesotho using a decentralized approach where local governments shall be responsible for services delivery at district and lower levels. 

Efficiency in use of Resources: As much as possible, resources shall be used where the greatest benefit to an individual or community is envisaged. Periodic cost- effectiveness analysis shall be carried out to identify cost effective interventions.

Equity: In accordance with the Constitution of Lesotho, all Basotho shall have equal access to quality education. Particular attention shall be paid to resource distribution patterns in Lesotho to identify and accelerate the correction of any disparities.

Evidence-Based Decision-Making: The development and implementation of education interventions programs shall be based on research evidence, cost-effectiveness and where appropriate international best practices.

Inter-Sectoral Collaboration and Partnership: Government and non-Government sectors will be consulted and will be involved in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of education services delivery using effective collaborative mechanisms.

Political Commitment: The GoL is committed to poverty reduction with emphasis on economic growth. This commitment will provide the critical guidance in priority-setting and resource allocation. Commitment to this Plan will be required at all levels of political, civil and cultural leadership.

Quality: Efforts will be made to ensure that all Basotho receive quality education services. 

Sustainability: New and on-going programs will be subjected to sustainability assessment.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Program implementation 2010-2015 19,593,431 19,593,431 IBRD
2006-2010 11,671,512 11,671,512 IBRD
Sector plan development 2014 230,000 223,507 UNICEF
Program development 2016 250,000 30,954 IBRD
  TOTAL 31,744,943 31,519,404  


Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.


Primary Gross Enrollment Rate (%)

Primary Completion Rate (%)

Lower Secondary Completion Rate (%)

Out-of-school Children Rate (%)

Domestic Financing

Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)

Public Expenditure on Education as a Share of Public Expenditure (%)

Public Expenditure on Primary as a Share of Total Education Expenditure (%)


Student/Teacher Ratio

Teachers Trained (%)

GPE in Lesotho

The latest GPE-funded program in Lesotho was completed in April 2015. The project objective was to provide improved facilities at existing primary schools, support and contribute to expand access to pre-primary education, and support improvements in teaching quality.

The three components of the grant were:

  1. Improve the quality of primary school infrastructure through providing additional fully furnished primary gender and disability friendly classrooms, and toilet blocks.
  2. Support and contribute to the expansion of pre-primary education through procuring caregivers, learning materials, catering services, and additional reception classes.
  3. Contribute to improvements in quality of teaching through analyzing conditions of education service delivery, increasing the qualification level of the teaching force, providing additional in-service teacher training, and distributing textbooks.

The Ministry of Education and Training led the program with the World Bank as grant agent and UNICEF as coordinating agency.

Source : Education for All (EFA) Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund Grant Project.


The GPE funding contributed to progress in the education sector through the following outcomes:

  • 3,682 additional students enrolled in classes supported by the program
  • 143 classrooms at the primary level built, rehabilitated, and furnished, and 3 toilet blocks constructed.
  • Student-teacher ratio in primary schools reduced from 59:1 to 45:1.
  • 380 additional qualified primary teachers and 11,158 teachers and principals trained in the new curriculum
  • 1.1 million textbooks purchased and 928,276 textbooks distributed.

Source: World Bank Implementation Completion Status Report - October 2015

Last updated January 02, 2017