Philippa Bird, (Chair)
Rebecca Chandler-Wilde (Treasurer)
Wendy Edwards (Secretary)
Introducing Sue Claydon
Experienced educationalist and Africa veteran, Sue Claydon is joining the BET in November 2019.
I went out to Lesotho in 1971 and worked with the ‘Continuation Schools’ in Leribe and Butha-Buthe Districts. These schools were formed following a Government decision to have both Standard 7 and 8 complete primary school at the same time. There were many students who could not get places in secondary schools, even though all the existing schools took in an extra form or two. Some one at the Ministry thought we have a spare classroom in every primary and a spare Standard 8 teacher (the purpose of the change was to bring Lesotho into the same school organisation as Botswana and Swaziland who had only 7 years of primary). So, they set up a number of continuation schools. These had no resources and just a copy of what they were to teach. I travelled around them supporting teachers. The ‘new maths’ had just been introduced and I arranged for the Dutch specialist to come and give Saturday classes to bring these teachers up to date. The Ministry was then under further pressure to allow a number of these to become junior secondary schools. Five of my ‘schools’ did this. Eventually, I settled at St. Paul’s in Butha-Buthe and stayed there for two years, taking over as Head Teacher when my colleague was ill.
I used to stop in Leribe often and got to know the Sisters of the Holy Name who help to run BET.. In 1973, the second technical school was set up and based at St. Monica’s. The first instructor had been training motor mechanics for Save the Children Fund. My husband to be came north and in December 1974 we were married, with Sr. Christian and Sr. Gladys Mary in attendance. We live at March in the Fens and are both now retired. My interest in Africa continues with to VSO placements in Zambia and South Sudan. I feel strongly that technical education does not have a high enough status.