FOUR academically gifted children who recently completed their LGCSE or O-level education will this week leave the country for a one-year programme at the Star Leadership Academy (SLA) in Zimbabwe under Econet Telecom Lesotho's HigherLife Foundation.
The scholarship caters for current HigherLife Foundation beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries as long as they are academically brilliant.
Katleho Mokhele from St Stephen's High School in Mohale's Hoek and Lebohang Kome from Dahon High School in Berea have been under the HigherLife scholarship while Refiloe Makhakhe from Butha-Buthe High School and Selumeli Thulo from Hope High School in Mafeteng were selected for the programme.
All the selected students had to go through a rigorous evaluation and interview process to qualify for the opportunity.
They follow in the footsteps of Katleho Pule from Lesia High School and 'Majane Leshoele from Lesotho High School, who completed their one-year programme at Star Leadership Academy in the year 2020. They are currently pursuing A-Level education at Watershed College and Dominican Convent High respectively in Zimbabwe. Both aspire to become medical doctors.
Ms Mokhele, 18, from Qalakheng, in Mohale's Hoek was accepted into her HigherLife scholarship while she was in her Form B in 2017. She could not contain her excitement and gratitude to Econet and its social impact organisation, HigherLife Foundation Lesotho.
"I have never imagined myself being granted a lifetime opportunity like this but I couldn't have done it without Econet Telecom Lesotho," Mokhele said.
"This opportunity will prepare me for the future as I intend to further my studies in Agribusiness and become a successful businesswoman."
Ms Thulo (18), is also from Qalakheng but attended school in Mafeteng. Her exceptional academic performance landed her the scholarship to SLA this year. She aspires to study health sciences and become a medical doctor.
"I have never been one of HigherLife Foundation beneficiaries but I am excited that I received this scholarship through my good academic performance. I believe this opportunity will help me achieve my dreams," Thulo said.
Star Leadership Academy accepts learners aspiring to lead and develop their nations; hence the students are introduced to two SLA campuses during the one-year term. Located in Zimbabwe's sunny capital, Harare, SLA City Campus curriculum exposes students to a variety of courses in governance, artificial intelligence and leadership training while the Farm Campus in Marondera provides an experiential learning environment for young leaders.
Throughout the programme at the Farm Campus, students will learn elements of crop farming, animal husbandry, dairy farming, agribusiness and social entrepreneurship, combining both theory and practical learning at an active farm. In addition to the agricultural courses, students will also partake in design thinking and develop their own projects and innovations.
Prominent guest lecturers shed light on important social, political and economic issues throughout the semester. Through trips to institutions like the Parliament of Zimbabwe and African Development Bank (AfDB), conversations with vibrant thought leaders and other interactive learning experiences, students will engage in a myriad of activities to develop their critical thinking skills and leadership qualities.