Graduation Ceremony of the Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP)
On the 14th of October, 128 trainees of the STEP programme proudly received their certificates at the Closing Ceremony of the STEP training in Lesotho which was officially opened by the Secretary General of the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO – Ms. Palesa Montši. The ceremony was graced with the presence of the Deputy Minister of Education and Training, Honourable Thabang Kholumo. Other dignitaries at the event were the German Honorary Consul to Lesotho- Mr. Heinz Fiebig and a representatives from the Ministry of Small Businesses Development, Marketing and Cooperatives.
The majority of the STEP graduates were drawn from Institutions of Higher Learning in the country, namely: Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, National University of Lesotho, Lerotholi Polytechnic, Lesotho Agricultural College and Centre for Accounting Studies. Another batch of about 50 trainees were unemployed youth from various colleges but who wanted to venture in to business to earn a living.
During the ceremony Honourable Kholumo appreciated initiatives like STEP training in Lesotho. He indicated that the role played by STEP should not be under estimated as it can enable the ministry to realise the 2030 Developmental Agenda Goal 4 which calls for inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all. “target 4.4 of this goal further requires us to ensure that by 2030, we substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship“, noted the minister.
From left to right: Secretary General Montsi, Deputy Minister Kholumo, German Consul Fiebig, and Mr. Monaheng
Mr. Setlaba Monaheng of the Ministry of Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing narrated to the graduates as to what the newly established ministry has in store for STEP graduates- He further encouraged them to write up viable business proposals to be considered by the ministry.
On behalf of the German National Commission for UNESCO, a message from the Deputy Secretary General of the German Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Lutz Möller was transmitted to the audience. The ceremony was made more colourful with the melodious songs by one of the trainees.
STEP training is an intensive 12 module training on which each module is taken in three hours. An extra bonus session on pitching a business idea was provided at the end of the training by one of the German volunteers. The training commenced on 22nd April and ended on July 24th. STEP combines theoretical classes with practical, hands-on experience. Students get the opportunity to start-up a concrete business during the training. This action-oriented process ensures that the trainees develop confidence in their entrepreneurial skills.
The programme is further based on the long standing cooperation between the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO and the German Commission for UNESCO within the framework of both Bonn Roadmap 2008 and the Seeta Commitment2015.