Connecting Wales and Lesotho: our school partnership experience

I went over to Lesotho in 2014. I’d never ever done anything like this before in my life but the whole experience was just fantastic and I was in awe the whole time I was there. Our partner school is Mokhotlong Primary School, it’s in the eastern mountainous region of Lesotho. They currently have 14 members of staff
and 665 students. The thing that surprised me was how similar their school was to ours. They are a bilingual school just like we are here in Wales. English and Welsh are studied and promoted here in Wales obviously, In Lesotho it’s English and Sesotho. So they face a similar situation as we have here to promote bilingualism. For me the lasting memory I had from Mokhotlong Primary School is the children were always turning up to school with a smile on their face and
leaving with a smile on their face. We took over handwritten letters from our
children, we took them into class 2, which had 97 students, and they took all of our letters and next next morning, it was a Tuesday morning, at nine o’clock there was 97 replies on our desk ready. And I just thought it was absolutely outstanding. I think it’s important for our students to learn about global issues because they are part of a local community and a national community of
Wales. And by studying and spending time with the students to discuss those
global issues they realize, slowly but surely, that they are part of a much
bigger world. They are better equipped to become global and ethical citizens of the world. As a local advisor I can give support for schools. That would include helping them to prepare their applications, meetings, planning, looking at
resources, considering what training they could have. Also, once they actually get
the grant I can help with arranging the visit for them, making that visit really
count. Being part of this partnership has had a massive impact on our students’ work in school with us purely because they
are so engaged. Any time you only have to mention the word ‘Lesotho’ and they’re engaged. I enjoyed meeting the people from Lesotho, because it taught me how different it is to here. With the new curriculum coming into Wales I’m finding that schools are more and more interested in using the Sustainable
Development Goals as a framework for the new curriculum and this program is an
exciting and motivating way of helping them do that. I found that the quality
for all the resource really straightforward to use – everything was
mapped out for us. The resource we found was very effective because we could tailor it to our own needs and we could implement it to run alongside our
curriculum as well. It’s a real CPD opportunity, it’s a life changing experience. This is the world in your classroom. It fits in extremely well with
our goal of empowering students to become better citizens of the world. [MUSIC PLAYS]

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