Thuto Shepherds School, Pulane
The Thuto Shepherds School (Thuto means ‘to learn’ in Sotho) opened in September of 2018. The head teacher is Ntate Lazero.
During September and October 24 students registered, with each paying a fee of 20 Maloti (Lesotho currency 1 Maloti = 0.06 Euro) to register. Their ages range from 12 - 53 years old. All shepherds are very keen to learn.
Four Students are part-time shepherds who also attend a local school.
Students are taught Mathematics 1 and 2; Sotho (the language of Lesotho), English, Bible study. There are three members of staff - teachers Nte Lazero and Nte David and Me Julia who is the cook. Two staff members of The Pulane Childrens Center assist one evening per week teaching Bible study and English.
The school functions four nights per week and opens at 6pm. A hot meal is served 6:30pm
One problem we have to live with is that boys will be missing some lessons when they take the flocks to the Cattle Post.
Mopeli who lives at PCC does not do well at school, he is unable to read/write/count at the end of his Primary education. We have enrolled him in the Thuto Shepherds School and he does well there, probably because many shepherd boys are in the same position.
The school will run from August to May each year; we plan to close in Winter (during June/July) when it is too cold.
Emily Strugnell, Director, who together with the local management team manages the Pulane Childrens Centre, writes about this new project:
“Night school for local shepherds is a very special project that ‘Mè Jill is leading. These boys and gentlemen are busy learning their alphabet. They aspire to one day read and write.
Shepherds often start working as children looking after their families’ animals. They spend much of their lives exposed to the elements with just their blankets to protect them. They are often overlooked as the lowliest of this culture.
So this Shepherd School project is a beautiful, practical way to show these men and boys that they are valuable to Jesus.
(This project is funded separately from PCC operations, so if you’re interested in donating to this effort, send us a message and we’ll get you the details).”