Mr Takatso Kumi and Mr Tefo Koloko, students of Mathematics and Physics, and Environmental Health, along with ten other students at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) are seeking a revolution.
This rather philosophical group of young enthusiastic thinkers have formed a movement which called Road to Revolution. The movement is registered with the NUL Student Representative Council.
The Road to Revolution is an apolitical movement. It coordinates the structures within the university so that the school’s development may be emphasized, they pointed out. The movement also seeks to empower the NUL student union in engaging in proactive mechanisms.
Mechanisms that are responsive to the problems rather than just playing the blame game, always complaining. It also seeks to encourage original thinking in the country.
The astute youths believe that when all the Faculties within the NUL campus work in harmony, the NUL graduates will not have to be unemployed as the unity can achieve great things. This is not yet the case from their point of view. For instance, they showed that the Faculties of Science and Technology, Agriculture and Health Sciences, are coming up with innovations which are needed by our society.
“Obviously,” they observed, “the hardworking scientists do not have business skills and can hardly market their valuable products.” They said that if only the Science Faculties were to team up with, say the Faculty of Social Sciences in promoting the innovations, there is a high possibility of creating something huge. Big production companies that will bring lots of money to sustain the university and to solve the overwhelming unemployment problem facing Lesotho.
Thus, their movement seeks to build bridges between various stakeholders within the NUL. This will mobilize different perspectives in solving common problems.
The two revolutionaries said that the future of this country with its abundant resources lies in the hands of young people. Thus young people should be woken up and their attention redirected towards being productive.
Amongst other things, the movement intends to investigate whether the higher education offered in Lesotho is responsive in promoting intellectual independence, originality and great sense of patriotism in the current generation. “If our education system is not addressing much of the problems that the country has, it could be irrelevant,” they said.
Mr Kumi showed that as a movement, they were still grappling with the question of who might be failing who within Lesotho’s education system. “Could it be that the administration of Lesotho’s education system is failing the people? Or the people are failing the administration? We are yet to find,” he said.
They added that since Lesotho’s education system was inherited from colonialists in the past century. It could be playing a role in retarding the abilities of young people to effect positive change.
In their collective view, it is the young free minds that will be able to make necessary changes. If ever they did not underestimate their power and stop directing their attention only to negative things such as focusing on destructive criticism.
“Every time the NUL Student Union makes a demonstration because they want their allowances. One sees how powerful they are together,” they said. “Imagine what would happen if that power was redirected to negotiating access to the most important issues in campus. Such as opening of library for 24 hours or Wi-Fi availability all over the campus or introduction of new powerful courses. This beautiful place would change for the better.” Mr Koloko showed.
One might want to know what these motivated youth have done already. They were part of the group who negotiated for the Student Representative Committee (SRC) elections to be postponed until the environment was right to hold them. When the time was right, “the SRC elections were fair and peaceful,” they said.
Of course, they said they were not the only ones to take credit for the result. There were various stakeholders involved. These included current Electoral College and Student Union Attorney, both of who played an invaluable role.
The slogan of Road to Revolution is that “people are born intelligent until they believe otherwise.” They say that the most important ingredient in learning new things is passion. According to them, when the right opportunities are created by the university. Students will be able to follow their passion and show their intelligence. Then this country will soon be among the fastest developing.
Most importantly, the young thinkers reiterated the need for originality in thinking. They said most of the thinking in Africa was not original. Much was imported from outside. “Higher learning institutions like NUL should be awash with intellectually independent and original minds,” they emphasized.
These revolutionaries ended by revealing this quotation that inspires them. “It is, rather, the use that the individual makes of his knowledge, its value to him personally in his thinking and living, and it is what the acquisition of his knowledge has done to his mind, attitudes, his ideas, values, his ideals, his motives and intentions that will allow him the claim to be considered an educated man” by P. Higgs
This blog post was originally written by NUL Research and Innovations