The Stellenbosch University Unit for International Credentialing (SU-UIC) has entered into an agreement with the Examinations Council of Lesotho to consult on their new national qualification, the Lesotho Advanced Secondary Certificate (LASC).
The Examinations Council of Lesotho (ECoL), on behalf of the Lesotho education ministry, used to offer the Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education (LGCSE) in partnership with Cambridge University. However, when this partnership terminated at the end of 2022, ECoL decided to implement the LASC, a new school-leaving certificate that will provide learners with competencies comparable to international standards.
Although the LGCSE also served as a school-leaving certificate, its standard was comparable to Grade 11 in the South African curriculum. This served as an access barrier for learners who hoped to gain admission to higher education institutions in South Africa and elsewhere. The new LASC is intended to align with South Africa's National Senior Certificate and other, similar matriculation qualifications, enabling Basotho nationals to access a broader pool of universities.
The SU-UIC is the external quality assurer for Africa's first international school-leaving certificate, the International Secondary Certificate (ISC), which the Independent Examinations Board introduced in 2022. This spurred ECoL to approach the SU-UIC to quality-assure the LASC, which Lesotho hopes to roll out in 2024.
According to the agreement, SU-UIC will consult on the LASC during its development in 2023 and beyond. SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers and the chief executive officer of ECoL, Dr Mokhitli Khoabane, signed the agreement in Stellenbosch in June.
SU's support will help ECoL facilitate a significant paradigm shift in the Lesotho education system towards African relevance and responsiveness. Both stakeholders are excited to see the initiative take shape.