• Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

    Malcolm X
  • Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

    Albert Einstein
  • The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.

    Aristotle
  • Education is not just about going to school and getting a degree. It's about widening your knowledge and absorbing the truth about life.

School Supply Unit

SETSI SA PHEPELO EA THEPA LIKOLONG


School Supply Unit (SSU) is a programme in the Ministry of Education and Training bestowed with the responsibility of procuring, packaging and distributing Teaching and Learning Materials (TLM) to all primary and post-primary schools countrywide. SSU strives to achieve the following Ministerial objectives:

  • To improve the quality of education and training; and
  • To improve access, efficiency and equity of education and training

SSU also endeavours to achieve the departmental strategic goal of improving curricular and instructional materials relevant to the needs of Lesotho.

Functions of SSU

The core functions of SSU are as follows:

  • Procurement, packaging and distribution of Free Primary Education (FPE) stationery;
  • Procurement and supply of Science equipment and chemicals for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions;
  • Procurement and supply of textbooks for both primary and secondary schools;
  • It also serves as the storage facility and distribution center for FPE teaching and learning materials and other support materials from other educational departments.

Supply of Teaching and Learning Materials (TLM) to FPE schools


SSU has to undertake the major activity of procuring, packaging and distributing stationery to all FPE schools countrywide. This routine activity has to be carried every year, and it is done in the phases stipulated below:

  • Phase 1 is procurement of teaching and learning materials for FPE schools, which is done by following the procurement process of tendering, selection of eligible bidders, and supply of procured materials to SSU.
  • Phase 2 is packaging of teaching and learning materials for all the schools in accordance with the enrolment lists from the previous year.
  • Phase 3 is distribution of the packaged materials to the districts, centers and the schools.

The packaging and distribution activity is undertaken between October in the current year and January of the following year. This is to ensure that all teaching and learning materials are distributed before schools re-open.

School Supply Unit engages 4x4 vehicles to distribute to all accessible schools, and helicopters to distribute to all schools inaccessible schools in the remote and mountainous areas.

Initial Packaging and Top-Up Procedure

  • All FPE schools have to submit ER42 forms indicating their enrolments per grade, which serve as a guide for SSU to package required materials for each school per learner per grade.
  • All top-up materials are requested from SSU by the school Principal, who has to indicate the enrolment per grade, materials received, and the top-up materials required.
  • The top-up requests may be submitted to the District Education Offices or directly to SSU.
  • All requests must have Principal’s signature and office stamp to be acceptable.
  • Top-up requests are made between January and March.

Supply of Textbooks to Private Schools


SSU procures and sells textbooks to the Private and Community schools that opted out of Free Primary Education. These books are sold at cost price (Not for profit).

Procedure for Purchasing Textbooks from SSU

  • School have to compile the list of textbooks they need per unit per grade, and the quantities they need. These lists must have the School Principal’s signature and the office stamp;
  • SSU makes the quotation showing the available items, quantities, unit price and total cost of the order. The quotation must also have the banking details on it;
  • The School deposits into Textbook Revolving Fund Account and brings confirmation of deposit to SSU.
  • SSU packages the textbooks in accordance with the quotation issued. They also complete the cash sale form in triplicate: original is the customer copy, the customer leaves the other copy with the security guards, who has to check that the items written on it tally with the packaged books, and the third copy remains in the cash sale book.
  • Cash sale book is signed by the packer, the supervisor, the receiver, as well as the Accountant, who also issues the receipt.

Textbook Rental Scheme for Secondary Schools


The Ministry of Education and Training implemented Textbook Rental Scheme (TRS) for Secondary Schools in 2004 in an endeavour to attain quality education to all. All participating secondary schools are supplied with the approved textbooks for rental to students in all grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 progressively. The scheme enables students to borrow required textbooks from the School Textbook Library for one year, and returns them at the end of the year.

Rental fee

Each student pays an annual rental fee of M220.00 for the borrowed textbooks. All collected rental fee must be deposited into National Textbook Revolving Fund Account. The confirmation of deposit is submitted to SSU, and the school gets the receipt.

Lost and damaged textbooks

  • Both the students and teachers have to ensure that TRS textbooks are kept in good order.
  • If the students lose or damage the textbooks, they are expected to replace them.
  • The schools are not allowed to accept cash for lost or damaged textbooks.

Top-up requests

  • If the schools have shortages due to enrolment increase, they request additional textbooks from SSU.
  • Schools complete the Top-up request form indicating the enrolments, the textbooks titles, authors and quantities required per subject per grade.
  • The form must have the School Principal’s signature and the date stamp.
NB: Deadline for submission of top-up request to SSU is the 15th August every year

Science Materials Supply


SSU has a Science section responsible for buying and selling Science materials to Private schools, Secondary schools and Tertiary Institutions at cost price (without profit).

Procedure for purchasing textbooks from SSU

  • School have to compile the list of science equipment and chemicals they need the required quantities. These lists must have the signature of the School Principal or head of department and the office stamp;
  • SSU makes the quotation showing the available items, quantities, unit price and total cost of the order. The quotation must also have the banking details on it;
  • The School or an institution deposits into Science Revolving Fund Account and brings confirmation of deposit to SSU.
  • SSU packages the ordered materials, completes the cash sale form in triplicate: original is the customer copy, the customer leaves the other copy with the security guards, who has to check that the items written on it corresponds with the packaged materials, and the third copy remains in the cash sale book.
  • Cash sale book is signed by the packer, the supervisor, the receiver, as well as the Accountant, who also issues the receipt.

Field Service

SSU has officers in all ten districts whose responsibility is to undertake field work of monitoring the supply of teaching and learning materials in all the Field work commences immediately after the schools open. The core mandate of the SSU Senior Field Officers (SFOs) is to ensure that distribution was done as expected. If there are any surpluses and shortages, they re-distribute the materials accordingly. That is, they move surpluses to the schools that have shortages, and assist schools to request top-up materials from SSU.

It is also the responsibility of the SFOs to monitor safekeeping of the instructional materials in all the schools in their respective districts, both Primary and Secondary schools.