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Maseru, July 31 — Following rumours that Mabathoana High School might have no intake for next year (2024), the school Principal Sister Bathilda Heqoa said that no decision has been reached yet on the matter.

‘Mabathoana High School is one of the many Catholic Church schools in the country.

In an interview on Monday Sr. Heqoa explained that the plan not to have intake in 2024 is because in 2027 ‘Mabathoana High School will be a private church school and not partly government’s school as is the case.

She said that the issue is still being discussed at a high level, saying that they are awaiting the school proprietors and government to reach a decision.

She therefore said that until such a decision has been made, there is a possibility of 2024 intake.

On the other hand, some of the teachers told the Agency that they were informed by the Principal earlier saying that this is frustrating as it would mean losing their jobs.

Moreover, information from reliable sources indicated that the church wants to have full control of their schools due to the  poor current education system in Lesotho.

“The standard of Lesotho’s education has drastically declined and they want to have sole control of their schools,” said the source.

Again, the source added that once the government gives green light, the church wants to start piloting this with ‘Mabathoana High School.

Information further indicated that the church will take all responsibility including  recruitment and payment of teachers.

Meanwhile, in 1965 the Catholic Church through the Archbishop of Maseru, Emmanuel ‘Mabathoana and the Educational Catholic secretary, Fr. Garreau OMI saw a need to open a secondary school in the capital city, Maseru. They started negotiations with the Sisters of the Holy Names whose mission is education in the faith and liberating actions with special concern for the poor and disadvantaged. At the time there was only one high school and the other schools in town were teachers’ training colleges.

The Catholic Educational Secretariat requested the Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to provide the principal for the new school. The sisters’ leader appointed Sister Laurent Marie for that position. The school opened on April 01,1965 with three Form A classes. They used the Catholic Community Centre temporarily for the classrooms. In the meantime construction for four classrooms started at the site near St. Bernadette Primary School. The students had to clear their desks in the afternoon and put all the teaching materials which were used in the classes in the kitchenette, because the rooms were also used for night school. The school engaged four teachers to work with Sister Laurent Marie, they were Mrs. Lebona, Mr. Tlali, Mr. J. Mothale and Mr. Machape.

The new building was completed and blessed on February 28,1966 by Archbishop ‘Mabathoana. The enrolment increased to 126 students and seven new teachers joined the staff. Two wings were added to the new building. One was a laboratory while the other was classrooms. The following year the enrolment was 197 students. The school conducted their first Junior Certificate examinations where 24 of the original 80 students sat for their examinations. The school obtained 75 percent pass in this first examination.

After four years of dedication and building classrooms and laboratories as well as staff houses, Sister Anardene Bean arrived and became principal for one year. Sister Laurent Marie took the leadership of the school for four more years then she was replaced by Sister Bean.

Sister Laurent became the librarian and the bursar of the school until she retired and left for her home country, Canada in 1985. She left after celebrating 20 years of the foundation of ‘Mabathoana high School. She had seen it grow from 80 students to 547 students in 1985.

In 1977 the Sisters appointed Sister Mary Ellen Mckillop to be the principal. She left after two years to go back to Washington, her home province. Sister Yvonne Maes was appointed to be principal in 1979 until 1987.  Sister Filipina Tebalo was appointed principal in 1988 and her tenure was ended by her untimely death in 1998. Sr. Bathilda Heqoa was appointed principal and she was in this position for three years then she went to further her studies abroad 2001. Sister Margarita Lephoto was appointed in 2001 and she was principal for one year. In 2002 to 2006 , Sister Alixius Maria Mohanoe was appointed to serve as principal.

In 2007 to 2010 Sister Lephoto was again appointed principal of the school until she retired in December 2010. The leadership team of the sisters appointed Sr. Heqoa to be principal in 2011 but she was called to be part of the Congregational Leadership Team after being in that office for three months. Then the provincial leadership team requested Mrs. ‘Mankali Moejane to take that role. She was in that office from 2011 to 2017. In 2018 the Holy Names leadership asked Sr. Heqoa to be the principal again and she has been in that office up to the present.

The school has gradually grown from 80 students to over 1000 thousand students at present. In the course of these years a couple of buildings have been erected to respond to the needs of our time. The teaching and non-teaching staff has grown from 4 to over fifty people in total.  There has been high achievements in terms of academic performance and sports.


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