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 District Bursary Administrators receive orientation on Bursary Operations Manual

The Bursary Administrators and Bursary Data Clerks from 10 districts of the country convened at Mmelesi Lodge in Maseru for a-two day orientation-training on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Bursary Operations Manual starting from July 15 to 16, 2013.

The Senior Bursary Officer Mrs. Qenase Makhetha said the objective of the workshop is to orientate Bursaries Officers throughout the country on Bursary Operations Manual paying particular attention to two major components namely case management and Monitoring and Evaluation of the program as stipulated in the manual.

The Bursary Operations Manual was developed under Ministry of Education and Training to provide necessary tools to guide the Bursary Program Scheme Operations in the country , ensure uniformity in understanding, interpretation and application of policies and guidelines and outline activities to be performed under the Bursary Program to ensure consistency, accuracy and timeliness.

The Government of Lesotho introduced OVC Bursary Program in the year 2000 to increase access to OVC education and retain those who are already in school. However, the Program has operated without standard guidelines since its inception hence the need for Operations Manual.

Caption: Bursary Administrators and Data Clerks attending orientation training on OVC bursary operations manual. On the right is Senior Bursary Officer Mrs. Qenase Makhetha facilitating the orientation training on Bursary operations manual.

 

Mrs. Makhetha mentioned that the Case Management component of the Manual mainly focus on three categories namely complaints, payment claims and updates.

She said complaints related to registering beneficiaries’ complaints related to Bursary Program or education services from a specific school. Claims might be related to schools complains of delay payment, insufficient payment or none payment of some students by the Bursary program. The last category is about updating information about the benefited students; if they passed and promoted to the upper grade, transferred to different schools, graduated, sick, died or failed and repeated class.

She appealed to District Bursary Administrators to ensure that bursary reported cases are registered in the provided form of case management in order to keep the record of cases and make necessary follow-ups and provide relevant solution to the complainants.

The Bursary unit is responsible for coordination of the Bursary Program throughout the country and take a leading role in conducting publicity campaigns to educate the community on eligibility criteria, application procedures and other relevant information.

Among eligibility criteria as described in the operations manual stipulates that the applicant or beneficiaries of the program should be children under18 years and below, who come from very or ultra poor families, whereby the first priority is given to double orphaned children followed by child headed house holds, abandoned and single orphaned children.

According to the manual, even the existing beneficiaries will have to re-enrol in the program annually according to their performance (only those who pass) and also reinstate of suspended beneficiaries. The Manual indicates that bursaries will be suspended until progression to the next class especially for the students who failed the current class adding that reinstatement is only done to beneficiaries who have passed their class.

The beneficiaries will exit program when they graduate from high school, when they fail their class final examination and when there is any fraudulent practices.

She mentioned other important aspects of the manual is the Monitoring and evaluation of the students benefited from the program, their application documents, their school attendance, did they received books and stationery as charged in their school fees, did they wrote their final examinations and lastly their performance or examination results of each student.

The Bursary Administrators have to know the performance of the students benefited from the bursary and that the schools provide books and stationery as charged in the fees of each child.

Speaking during the training, the District Bursary Administrators thanked the unit for the orientation training which they said was long overdue to ensure standard and consistent information issued to the public about the Bursary Program.

Similar orientation workshops on Bursary Operations Manual will be held for high schools’ Principals in all districts to disseminate the message to the relevant stakeholders.

The first district orientation program for Maseru and Thaba Tseka districts will be at Mmelesi from July 18 to 19, Berea and Leribe districts will be held at Leribe from July 22 to 23 and Butha Buthe and Mokhotlong districts principals will be trained at Likileng Lodge in Butha Buthe at the same dates of July 22 to 23, 2013.

Meanwhile, the Bursary Unit is now transferred from Ministry of Education and Training and placed under the Ministry of Social Development (MOSD) with effect from April 1, 2013 to ensure all issues related to OVC are coordinated under one roof.




 

 
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