Primary Education Teacher

Project Description

Do you see yourself standing in front of a classroom of children eager to learn? Bo-‘M’e le Bo-Ntate (Ladies and Gentlemen), take a closer look at the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho and consider working collaboratively with the Basotho people to improve students’ knowledge and skills in literacy, numeracy, and life skills.

Education in Lesotho remains a vital component for the country’s development. For this reason the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) aims to raise education standards at all levels; specifically MOET seeks to improve access, quality, and relevance of education to all learners. MOET is giving special priority towards literacy, both in Sesotho and English, as well as mathematics, at the lower basic level.

Peace Corps Lesotho works hand-in-hand with the MOET to support primary learners to increase their literacy, numeracy, and life skills. Life skills education focuses on healthy living habits which include: positive identity and self- esteem, decision making, critical thinking, positive communication, emotional health, and sexual and reproductive health. The project’s dual focus spans Grades 1-7, supporting learners in the primary school to become literate in English and Math (Grades 1-4) and maintain healthy lifestyles (Grades 4-7).

Key findings from the study by LePHIA 2020 shows that, in Lesotho among individuals aged 15-49 years in 2020, HIV prevalence was 22.7%, 27.4% among women and 17.8% among men. In 2016-2017, HIV prevalence was 25.6% among individuals aged 15-49 years, 29.7% among women and 19.1% among men. Although these figures are encouraging the situation still needs attention especially because the resulting impact negatively affects the attendance and retention rates thus compromising the quality of education. Life skills-based Sexuality Education (LBSE) has therefore been integrated at the lower basic education level.

Besides teaching, Volunteers will also be expected to collaborate with their project partners to engage in community development activities. These may or may not be within the school community and they are primarily driven by the expressed needs of the communities themselves. Some common community development opportunities for Volunteers include: community libraries, environmental management, and income generating activities.

Although your work day will vary from Volunteer to Volunteer, a typical work day for a Primary Education Teacher in Lesotho will begin at 8:00am; you will spend much of your teaching time in grade 4, your home room class, where you will co-plan and co-teach with the host teacher specifically on the literacy, numeracy, and life skills windows. You will additionally support other teachers particularly in the lower grades with techniques to teach both literacy and numeracy at this foundational level. You will be teaching approximately 3-5 classes per day (each class is approximately 40 minutes, with 30-50 pupils).

Peace Corps Lesotho supports the Government of Lesotho and other partner agencies in promoting gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges and opportunities in Lesotho your country and you will have the opportunity to collaborate with your counterparts to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you and your project partners will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline.

Desired Skills

Peace Corps Lesotho seeks individuals with some or all of the following additional skills:

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-school, Early Childhood, Middle School, or Elementary Education
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with Elementary Education state certification
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with 1 or more school year classroom teaching experience at the Early Childhood, Middle School, or Elementary level
• English, foreign language or literacy tutoring experience with elementary school students
• Tutoring experience in basic numerical skills with elementary school students
• A strong desire to teach literacy and basic numeracy skills
• Public speaking and presentation skills
• Interest in and ability to model, coach, and mentor fellow teachers
• Ability to develop educational materials and resources
• Classroom management skills

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

There is a strong emphasis and high priority on learning and speaking the local language (Sesotho). Volunteers will be more successful in community integration the more frequently they use local language skills.

Trainees must demonstrate at least an Intermediate-Low level oral proficiency in Sesotho language after 11 weeks of language training.

Do note that there are a few communities primarily in the south of the country where two other languages are commonly used (isiXhosa and Sephuthi). For Volunteers who are placed here basic communicative language skills will be provided during PST as well.

Living Conditions

Volunteers live and work in either district capitals, referred to as camp towns, or rural villages. Camp towns house government offices and serve as the main business hub for the district.

Volunteers often walk approximately 1–3 miles before reaching their work site or where they can access public transportation. Volunteers use public transport when shopping in camp towns to purchase food supplies and when traveling to activities in different parts of the country. Through the monthly living allowance, Volunteers are able to cover their transport costs via buses and taxis.
During the 11 weeks of pre-service training, Volunteers stay with host families. At their permanent sites, the majority of Volunteers live in a family compound near the school The houses may be one- or two- roomed, thatched or corrugated iron (tin) roofed buildings made of stone, brick, or cement blocks (couples will have a two-roomed house). The Volunteer should expect to use an outdoor pit latrine and fetch water from a stand pipe in their home compound or from a village pump, and use candles, lanterns, and solar-powered lamps for light. Volunteer houses with electricity and running water are extremely rare.

Cell coverage varies throughout the country, with some Volunteer sites having excellent coverage and others requiring a walk of up to half a mile to make or receive calls. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop which not only increases options for internet access, but also enables Volunteers to complete required assignments off-line and upload them at a later date.

Most entertainment and recreation will be that which you create yourself: being social, playing sports, exercising, etc. Lesotho does not have a bustling nightlife or many organized recreational activities. Most Volunteers shop in their village or closest town, which has larger shops that carry basic supplies. Some camp towns have supermarkets that offer a variety of produce, meats, and other goods.

You will soon become familiar with traditional Basotho food that consists of a stiff maize meal (corn meal) porridge called “papa”, well-cooked greens (spinach, Swiss chard, or cabbage) called “moroho”, and a meat dish (mutton, beef, or chicken) called “nama”. Fruits and vegetables are available in many parts of the country but can be expensive and are limited dependent upon the season. Patience, flexibility, and tolerance on your part will be very important.

Lesotho has distinct seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. It is freezing in winter and often snows in the mountains, thus it is essential to bring warm clothing The Peace Corps office will provide a propane heater for your use as well as heating allowance during the winter (Apr-Sep).

While people in Lesotho may be generally tolerant, values and mores concerning sexual orientation and gender identity may be different from those in some parts of the U.S. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms, and use their judgment to determine the best way to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Preliminary discussions on sexual orientation and gender identify will be hosted by staff during site identification meetings. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during pre-service training, and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainee.

COVID 19 is still a global concern though the numbers have significantly decreased in country. Being one of the pilot countries for COVAX, more people continue to be encouraged to vaccinate. Mitigation measures continue to be practiced: compulsory mask wearing, observing social distancing and good hand hygiene. Self-quarantine is encouraged for those testing positive and selected host families have vaccinated. Volunteers will be expected to collaborate with their project partners to create awareness around COVID in their communities and the importance of vaccinating against the virus.

Serving in Lesotho

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Lesotho: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Peace Corps Lesotho welcomes couples. Your partner must also qualify and apply for this project.

Throughout pre-service training the couple will share housing. They will often, however, be separated during some training sessions, particularly in language. The couple will enjoy the privilege of being addressed as 'ntate' and 'm'e’, which is loosely translated 'father' and 'mother' and a sign of respect by both young and old. The couple should be prepared to share one room throughout training. This could be a challenge for those who would prefer more space. Each member of the couple will be assigned to one primary school. Most likely the house will be located closer to one of the schools and placement may mean one member of the couple will work nearby whilst the other will work at a distance from the house (but less than 3 miles one way).

The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couple placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process Recruiters and Placement Officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit:

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

Does this sound like the position for you?
Get started on your journey.

Apply Now

What Happens Next?

View Volunteer FAQs
The types of work Volunteers do are ultimately determined by the needs of host countries and the potential of a Volunteer to contribute to these needs and to the Peace Corps’ mission.
Learn about the application process
The most significant accomplishment will be the contribution you make to improve the lives of others. There are also tangible benefits, during and after service of joining in the Peace Corps.
More benefits from service
Our recruiters are here to help you! Whether you have a question about your application, requirements, or anything else, our recruiters have the answer. Chat live with them now!
Find a recruiter