1. Terminology

2. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision 

2.2 Non-state education provision 

2.3 Other types of schools 

3. Governance and regulations

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

3.2 Multi-level regulations 

3.3 Supplementary private tutoring 


  1. Terminology

 The 2010 Education Act, which governs all education levels, defines an independent school as a school other than a public school, which can determine its own admission criteria. A proprietor in relation to the school refers to any person, community, church, society or corporation by whom or by which a school is established or to whom or to which an established school is transferred. In the case of community-based, religion-based and non-governmental organisations the term refers to an organ or office stipulated as such by the institution.


  1. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision

State schools

Public schools are defined under the 2010 Education Act as state-funded schools wholly managed in terms of government regulations and manned by teachers who are part of the Teaching Service. Public schools are those:

  • Whose admission requirements comply with such public policy as determined by the Minister and are bound to Government rules and regulations.
  • That are funded by the Government and charge such fees as approved by the Minister.
  • Whose teachers are in the Teaching service.

The education system in Lesotho includes three years of Early childhood education, which has an official entry age of three, followed by 7 years of Primary compulsory education (grades 1-7) for children aged between 6 and 13 years old. Secondary education is divided into two cycles: Junior secondary (grades 8-10) which culminates into the Junior Certificate (JC), and Senior secondary (grades 11-12) which culminates into the Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education (LGCSE). Children who will not continue into junior secondary school or senior secondary school may enrol in technical and vocational institutions. All such institutions are owned by the government.

According to the 2016 Education Statistics Report, schools or institutions in Lesotho are owned either solely by the government, solely by private companies, or jointly by government and private companies, churches or communities. Schools or institutions are considered public if they are solely owned by government, or they are owned jointly by government and private companies or churches or owned solely by churches and privately owned but the government has a stake in them. If a school is owned by the church, but the government pays the teachers’ salaries or student school fees, the institution is considered public. The government is hugely responsible for the payment of teachers and provision of financial support for most of these registered schools belonging to churches, the community and government itself.

Non-state managed, state schools

No information was found.

Non-state funded, state schools

No information was found.


2.2 Non-state education provision

Independent, non-state schools

The 2010 Education Act defines independent schools as those:

  • Whose admission policy is determined by its governing bodies.
  • That are managed in terms of their own constitution approved by the Minister upon registration of the school or upon application to change the classification of such school.
  • That are free to leverage fees determined by their school boards.
  • That may receive such conditional subvention or grants as the Minister may decide in consultation with the Minister responsible for finance.

International schools. Maseru is home to several well-established international schools. Children of different nationalities can receive secondary education in Maseru up to entrance level for universities in their home countries.

Community schools can be either independent or government aided. They play an important role in the provision of education in Lesotho, specially at the ECCD level where they account for 70% of the total number of schools. However, their incidence drastically diminishes at the primary and secondary levels. Community schools can receive financial support from the government.

State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools

The church plays a key role in the provision of education in Lesotho. Most of the schools that are owned by the church are partly funded by the State. The government of Lesotho is responsible for the payment of teachers’ salaries and financial support and considers these schools as public. Schools owned by Lesotho’s Evangelical Church and the Roman Catholic School account for two thirds of the total number of registered primary schools in Lesotho. The Anglican Church of Lesotho and the African Methodist Episcopal also receive funding from the State. While they are not as numerous as Evangelical or Catholic schools, they represent a bigger share than registered government schools at the primary level.

Contracted, non-state schools

No information was found.

2.3 Other types of schools


There is no evidence of an official policy or law regulating homeschooling in Lesotho.

Market contracted (Voucher schools)

No information was found.

Unregistered/Unrecognised schools

With the approval of the 2010 Education Act, the government of Lesotho introduced a mandatory certificate of registration for all schools. The approval of the Act forced unregistered schools to register with the Ministry of Education or face closure. The Ministry conducted an audit to see which schools had to shut down and started charging proprietors criminal charges for operating unregistered schools in 2011. 


  1. Governance and regulations

The Ministry of Education and Training of Lesotho (MOET) is the main authority in the country. The management of the schools is largely in the hands of the main missions- Catholics and Evangelists- the determination of the curricula and syllabuses is the responsibility of the Minister of Education. 

Vision: In its Voluntary National Review to the HLPF 2019, the Government of Lesotho affirmed that it counts on the development of partnerships with religious organisations, the private sector, NGOs, communities, and development partners to increase educational opportunities to all Basotho children. To fulfil the objectives of the 2016-2026 Education Sector Plan Lesotho sought to foster collaboration with key stakeholders including school proprietors and highlighted that the education system should foster consultations between the MOET, churches and parents. According to the ESP, the involvement of the private sector is essential for the fulfilment of the objectives. 


3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

The Government of Lesotho recognizes the importance of the early years of life as a foundation for human development and lifelong learning. The Education Sector Strategic Plan 2005-2015 stipulated that all children from 0 to 6 years of age should have access to integrated early childhood education by the year 2015, a target that according to the  2016-2026 Education Sector Plan Lesotho was not reached.

The Kingdom of Lesotho approved in 2013 a National Policy for Integrated Early Childhood Care and Development which included a detailed National Strategic Plan for the implementation of each of the eight strategies of the policy. The Policy sought to ensure that parents and legal guardians were able to access and participate in high-quality and cost-effective IECCD services and to ensure they are available in or near their communities.  All children from birth to five years of age are eligible for IECCD services under this policy, with priority given to vulnerable children living in poverty or children with disabilities. IECCD services will be provided in the home language to ensure that all minority groups are included and that families can participate in the education and understand educational materials.

The IECCD policy mandated public, private sector and civil society organizations at District and Community Council levels to use an integrated service approach to maximize the use of existing human and material resources and to provide high-quality services at the lowest possible cost to the greatest number of children and families. The policy sought to improve and expand preschool services (including homebased and reception year services) for children 3 to 5 years and improve transition from home and preschool to primary school. The 2016-2026 Education Sector Plan also included in its priorities improving access to comprehensive early childhood care and development for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

As part of decentralization efforts by the government, the community councils are responsible for ECCD planning, implementation and management in their villages and towns. According to the 2016 Education Statistics Report, few early childhood institutions are operated formally by the government, churches and private individuals, while many are operated by local communities, non-governmental organizations and private individuals.  Many parents, especially those in urban areas, take their children to preparatory schools as early as when they are three or four years old. Preparatory schools are usually more expensive than primary schools (level 1). The IECCD Policy included in its priorities the progressive expansion of community preschools and home-based preschools.

ECCE education in Lesotho is divided into reception classes, home bases and centres; reception classes are centres attached to some of the existing primary schools. ECCD centres are privately owned by individuals while home bases are community-initiative pre- schools. All these schools offer the same curriculum; they only differ in ownership status. Reception classes are attached to public lower basic education schools and are fully supervised and supported by MOET through provision of learning and other special materials and food by school-catering system and provision of wages for caregivers and or teachers.

The majority of ECCE schools are owned by the communities followed by private individuals and then government.


Registration and approval: The IECCD Policy (2013) adopted a preschool and day care registration and certification system. A Multi-sectoral Preschool Supervision Team will be selected and trained to conduct the certification process.

Licence: No information was found.

Financial operation

Profit-making: While there are no specific provisions for profit-making in the IECCD Policy, ECCD services are known to be more expensive than primary schools. 

Taxes and subsidies: To support the expansion of home-based schools, the government of Lesotho agreed through the IECCD Policy to give a small stipend for home-based caregiver-teachers as well as a small fund for in-service training, supervision and materials.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum or learning standards: The IECCD Policy (2013) sought to develop and improve the quality of preschool curricula to encourage the use of culturally, linguistically and age-appropriate educational materials and active teaching methods to stimulate child development.

Teaching profession The IECCD Policy (2013) sought to improve teacher-training, curricula and education materials to improve the quality of preschool services. The Policy recognized that pre- and in-service training was inadequate for all fields, including ECDD services and sought to improve training to prepare ECDD professionals to become service directors, supervisors, trainers, planners and teachers.

To achieve quality services in ECCD, the MOET in collaboration with UNICEF provides support to in-service training of caregivers on how best they should provide care, stimulation and pre-schooling education to children. Out of 3,000 caregivers, 100 are in-service trained annually. Moreover, the Lesotho College of Education offers a Certificate in Early Childhood Education (CECE). Out of 183 CECE graduates from LCE, 140 ECCD teachers have been absorbed by the Moet’s teaching service department since 2009

Equitable access

Fee-setting: No information was found.

Admission selection and processesThe IECCD Policy (2013) sought to ensure that ECCD services will were accessible to all children, in particular those from marginalized communities or with special educational needs.

Policies for vulnerable groups: The IECCD Policy promoted inclusive preschool education for children with development delays and disabilities. It also sought to expand early childhood feeding services for all day care services preschools and reception year classes to support vulnerable children.

There are home-based services for orphans and vulnerable children that receive support from the government for teaching and learning materials, in-service training and school meals.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Reporting requirements: No information was found.

Inspection: The policy sought to improve the quality assurance of ECCD services by reinforcing, developing and enforcing service standards and regulations. In collaboration with non-public preschool providers, uniform preschool and reception year service standards, regulations and training manuals will be prepared, printed and distributed to all preschool establishments.

Child assessment: No information was found.

Sanctions: No information was found.


The Government of Lesotho is committed to providing all children in Lesotho with free, inclusive and quality primary education. Primary education (level 1) is compulsory for children aged 6-13 years old. At the end of the seven-year primary level schooling, students sit for the primary school leaving examination (PSLE) administered by the Examinations Council of Lesotho. Children who qualify to attend secondary school will attend junior or lower secondary school (level 2) and may then continue into senior or upper secondary school referred to as high school (level 3).

The Free Primary Education Policy which commenced in 2000 eliminated school fees on annual incremental basis beginning with grade one in 2000 and was completed in 2006 when Lesotho achieved free primary education. At the primary level, almost all students are registered in public schools. Lesotho’s Evangelical Church account for the highest enrolment in primary schools in all districts followed by the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church

At the secondary level, schools are owned by different proprietors namely, Government, community, churches and private individuals.

As part of the Free Primary Education (FPE) policy, introduced in Lesotho in 2000, the Ministry of Education and Training introduced a school grant to compensate for the loss of income due to the abolition of school fees. From 2000, the government of Lesotho started moMproviding three new sources of resources to schools: Schools received support in kind in the form of teaching and learning materials, financial aid for school feeding programmes and a utility grant for the maintenance of school buildings and the payment of electricity and water bills.

The 2010 Education Act governs the education system in Lesotho and includes provisions for public, independent and special schools.


Registration and approval:  The 2010 Education Act establishes that a proprietor of a registered school shall have a physical address in Lesotho which shall be shown on the certification. The requirements for the registration of a school include the name, designation and address of the proprietor, the proposed category of the school and the prospective target population to be served by the school, a proof of title to the land on which the school is to be operated or sublease agreement of premises, the buildings and facilities to be used by the school and the financial position at the time of the application. The Minister of Education issues the certificate of registration.

The grounds for cancellation of registration and closure and closure of a school are outlined in article 16 of the Education Act.

Licence: According to the Act, a person who wishes to open a new school, upgrade or downgrade an existing school, transfer a school site or add new classes to an existing school shall make an application to the Minister.

WASH: No information was found.

Financial operation

Profit-making: The Education Act does not prohibit profit making for independent schools.

Taxes and subsidies. Independent schools may receive conditional subventions or grants from the Minister of Education after consulting with the Minister responsible for finance. The Minister of Education may also offer grants-in-aid to educational institutions as established in article 13 of the Education Act.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standardsNo information was found.

Textbooks and learning materialsNo information was found.

Teaching profession All teachers must be registered with the Teaching Service. The Teaching Service Commission consists of five members of which two are nominated by proprietors. The Commission, appoints, promotes, demotes, removes or transfers from office teachers whose salaries are paid by the government.

The 2010 Education Act establishes that the principal of an independent school shall “be appointed by the appointing authority on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the proprietor”. A person appointed as principal, shall at the time of the appointment, be registered as teacher under the Teaching service.

Corporal punishmentArticle 4 of the Education Act 2010 decrees that “A learner shall not be subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment” but it does not specifically prohibit corporal punishment.

Other safety measures and COVID-19No information was found.

Equitable access

Fee-setting:  The Education Act establishes that independent schools are free to leverage fees determined by their school boards.

Admission selection and processes: In independent schools, the admission policy is determined by its governing bodies.

Policies for vulnerable groups: The Minister of education may provide scholarships to qualified learners in independent and special schools in Lesotho and outside Lesotho.

Equitable access


Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board:  At the school level, the 2010 Education Act established that all schools should be managed by school boards. School committees or boards were created to establish a partnership between the school and the community in order to increase the involvement of the community in school life.

The school board consists of nine members appointed by the proprietor and approved by the Minister. School boards oversee the management, administration of the school and proper running of the school. In an independent school, the school board may appoint, promote demote or transfer a teacher

Reporting requirements: No information was found.

School Inspection:  Articles 18 and 19 of the Education Act regulates the school inspection. There is an inspectorate of schools whose function is to report on trends, achievements and on the general implementation of school policies. Proprietors must allow inspectors to enter and inspect the school premises at any reasonable time.

Diplomas and degrees: No information was found.

Student assessment: No information was found.

Sanctions: Education Act establishes that a person who contravenes the provisions related to the premises in which a school may operate commits an offence and is liable on conviction. The fines vary depending on whether the offender is a natural person or a society, church or corporation. Article 16 of the Act establishes several grounds for the cancellation of registration and closure of a school.


Lesotho has one public university and two private universities. Tertiary institutions in Lesotho include the Lesotho College of Education (LCE), the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT). LCE trains teachers in both primary and junior secondary schools.

According to Lesotho’s Voluntary National Review to the HLPF 2019, enrolments in registered higher institutions in 2015/16 decreased to 21,586 students compared to 21,664 in 2014/15. There were more female learners at 60.5 percent compared with their male counterparts at 39.5 percent.

Part VI of the 2004 Higher Education Act regulates higher education of private institutions in Lesotho. It established the Council on Higher Education (CHE) which monitors the implementation on this policy and promotes access of students to higher education institutions across the country.


Registration and approval: Article 37 of the Higher Education Act refers to the registration of higher education private institutions. It establishes that an application for registration to operate higher private institutions shall be made to the Registrar and shall be accompanied by a prescribed fee. The Registrar will then, in consultation with the CHE, decide whether he will approve the registration of the higher education institution.

Financial operation

Profit makingPrivate higher education institutions should keep books and records of income, expenditure, assets and liabilities.

Taxes and subsidiesNo information was found.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standardsNo information was found.

Teaching professionNo information was found.

Equitable access

Fee-settingNo information was found.

Admission selection and processesNo information was found.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board: The Act establishes that private higher education institutions should have an appropriate governance and management structure to achieve its goals.

Reporting requirements: The Higher Education Quality Assurance Committee with the concurrence of the CHE is charged with the quality assurance functions for higher education. The CHE may charge fees for any service rendered by the Higher Education Quality Assurance Committee to any person, institution or department of the Government.

Inspection : No information was found.

Assessment: No information was found.

Diplomas and degreesPrivate education institutions should maintain acceptable standards that are not inferior to the standards at a comparable higher public education institution, which may require producing certificates of accreditation from recognized local or international bodies.

Sanctions: No information was found.


3.2  Supplementary private tutoring



No information was found. 

Financial operation and quality

No information was found. 

Teaching profession

No information was found. 



Dernière modification:

ven 03/12/2021 - 21:43