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The Lesotho elderly pension scheme: does it have implications for lifelong learning?

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This paper discusses a study that explored the impact of the Lesotho Government pension scheme on the learning attitudes of pensioners. The recent introduction of the pension scheme means that old people have regained their status as breadwinners. They are no longer dependents but have become very resourceful members of the community. As a result they are more involved in family and community activities. This has necessitated a new look at their lifelong learning needs in relation to their responsibilities, among others, of educating their grandchildren, updating themselves in relation to new farming techniques and health issues. In this research, a case study design was employed to investigate two constituencies in Maseru, in peri-urban and rural settings. An interview guide was used to collect data employing a snowballing sampling technique. Data were qualitatively analysed. The results of the study indicate that these pensioners identified many new activities where they had the opportunity for lifelong learning, but the idea of targeted learning that could enhance these activities needs to be nurtured. The study recommends establishment of functional learning centres in constituencies to encourage organised learning for the elderly, families and communities. Such centres would be a place where they could convene and participate in various formal, non-formal and informal/indigenous learning activities. This paper provides some background information to how the pension scheme was introduced in Lesotho and the questions it raised regarding how pensioners were subsequently using their time. The paper then provides a conceptual framework in relation to adult learning, followed by the methodology, findings and conclusions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: National University of Lesotho, Lesotho

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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