The Lesotho curriculum and assessment policy: Opportunities and threats
The end of British colonial rule in 1966 provided an impetus for curriculum reform in Lesotho. Since then, a number of curriculum and assessment reforms have been attempted, albeit with a little success. In all cases, the aim has been to achieve the goals of education for national development. The Curriculum and Assessment Policy 2009 represents the latest education reform, which marks a departure from the subject and examination-oriented curriculum to a new dispensation wherein curriculum is organised into learning areas reflecting practical life challenges. In this paper, we analyse the content of this policy document in order to identify the underlying assumptions about curriculum, pedagogy and assessment focusing on secondary education. We take a critical perspective on policy analysis to uncover contradictions and paradoxes associated with the educational discourses being promoted by the document. We further discuss the implications of curriculum policy intentions of the document, highlighting opportunities and threats for educational development in Lesotho. Based on the findings of our review, we argue that although the new policy creates opportunities for personal growth of learners and economic development in Lesotho, there are threats and challenges, which can be detrimental to its successful implementation.
Keywords: assessment; curriculum; curriculum integration; pedagogy; policy