01 October 2019
Hi, my name is Palesa ‘Mathese Phooko
NEF Ambassador – Lesotho
Mrs Palesa Phooko started her research career with the synthesis and
characterization of Polyaniline using porphyrin complexes as catalysts, as part of her M.Sc. thesis. After obtaining M.Sc from National University of Lesotho, she joined NUL as a lecturer in physical chemistry and spectroscopy. She is currently holding this position. In addition to teaching and researching, she is a treasurer for Women in Science Lesotho an organisation that is committed to encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers in Lesotho. She has supervised undergraduate projects. Mrs Phooko has been a visiting scholar at University of Pennsylvania, USA. Her research interests include theoretical chemistry, synthesis and characterization of macromolecules for application as catalysts and sensors. She is the current Next Einstein Forum Ambassador.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SCIENCE IN Lesotho
Lesotho is a democratic, sovereign and independent country with the unique characteristic of being totally surrounded by its neighbor, the Republic of South Africa. Lesotho ranks 161 in the world on the United Nations Human Development Index. The country is rich in Natural resources: Water, agricultural and grazing land, some diamonds and other minerals. However, Lesotho’s performance in STEM is still not so commendable but it is improving. Currently, the National The University of Lesotho has set up the Innovation hub to promote STEM innovation. The government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Science and communications has since passed the Science and Technology policy in 2006, but the progress is slow. Some progress has been made in telecommunications, yet the full impact of ICTs in the education sector is still yet to be realized. Each year, the Lesotho and Maths Teachers Association (LSMTA) organizes the famous National Science Fair for primary and high schools in Lesotho to boost the passion for Science and Maths education.