Things to know about Lesotho
The Kingdom of Lesotho is a country in South Africa, completely landlocked within South Africa. It is a small country with an area of 30 355 square kilometers, the capital Maseru is the largest city, Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the United Kingdom in 1966.
With regard to national minorities, language policy is in its infancy. It is true that the national language is spoken by 96% of the population, but the Zulu minorities are the only ones. In addition, small Asian minorities such as Chinese and Indian Indians, all of whom are very active in the country's commercial life, have raised some discontent over the discrimination they say they suffer.
Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official). Lesotho has developed a specific bilingual policy which is to promote the national language (Soto) without abandoning the colonial language (English). This aspect of linguistic policy seems to have been relatively successful, but Sotho has not yet found its place, as English still takes precedence, despite being the "second official language".
Small, landlocked, and mountainous Lesotho relies on South African miners' remittances and customs duties from the Southern African Customs Union for most government revenue. Lesotho produces about 95% of its electricity needs. Due to the steady decrease in the number of miners over the past several years, a small manufacturing base has evolved based on agricultural products that support the milling, canning, leather, and jute industries, as well as the rapidly expanding garment collection sector.
The latter has grown significantly due to Lesotho's qualification of commercial benefits in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. The economy remains primarily dependent on subsistence agriculture, especially livestock, although drought has reduced agricultural activity. The wide disparity in income distribution remains a major disadvantage.
Lesotho has adopted a traditional educational structure consisting of a primary school divided into the lower elementary stage (“lower elementary stage”, from one to 4 years) and the upper elementary stage (“upper primary stage”, from 5 to 7 years). The secondary school is divided into two cycles, namely the lower level (“the lower secondary stage”, the year 8 to 10) and the upper secondary school (“the secondary stage”, the years 11 and 12).
High school is also referred to as "middle school" and "high school". Since the French language is already taught in many schools across the country and is one of the official languages of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Ministry of Education has decided to introduce this language at the secondary level in Lesotho schools.
The South African government controls the official media (one broadcast, one-hour daily news on a local TV channel, and two weekly newspapers) and ensures that it accurately reflects official positions.
In electronic media, national radio (Radio Lesotho) is broadcast in the Sotho language, as well as in English (newscasts). This is the case for TV (National Television Station), except that many programs produced outside the country are broadcast in English only.