The Examinations Council of Lesotho (ECoL) is a nonprofit making organization, which is responsible for conducting public examinations and national assessment surveys on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET). It conducts public examinations at the end of basic education, Standard 7 (Primary School Leaving Examination), after the end of Junior Secondary, Form C (Junior Certificate Examination) and at the end of Senior Secondary, Form E (O’ Levels/COSC). The O’Level curriculum and examinations have been provided to Lesotho since 1961 by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) and later by Cambridge International Examinations CIE.
UCLES is a predecessor of CIE and the two bodies are under the University of Cambridge Assessment Group. In collaboration with the National Curriculum Development Centre, ECoL administers National Assessments at both Primary (grades 3 and 6) and Secondary levels (Form B). ECoL also administers examinations provided by other examination bodies such as Edexcel, University of London, City and Guilds, Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA), and Regent University.
ECoL is in the process of localising the Senior Secondary Certificate examinations. The new qualification which will start in 2014 will be called the Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education (LGCSE). Please refer to the report on localization for more details. ECoL has also introduced continuous assessment in the form of Assessment for Learning in the Primary school.
The Examinations Council of Lesotho has collaborations with international organizations. It has a long standing syndicate arrangement with the Examinations Council of Swaziland, is the member of the Southern African Association for Educational Assessment (SAAEA), Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA) and International Association for Educational Assessment (IAEA).
The Examinations Council of Lesotho aims for excellence in assessing quality of educational performance.
To monitor educational performance through cost effective assessment strategies that take into account the local context as well as the international trends using the most affordable and up-to-date technology for timely delivery and feedback.
Effectively and efficiently assess performance of learners through public examinations and continuous assessment(where applicable)
Evaluate the educational system through national assessments and other forms of assessments as may be seen fit by MoET in order to enhance quality of education.
Functions of the Examinations Council
To develop tests of high quality which can accurately assess what candidates know and can do.
To arrange and control assessment for Primary and secondary schools and other bodies as the Minister may direct;
To award certificates to persons who satisfy the Council that they have attained an appropriate standards in assessment or other tests of knowledge or ability or have performed other prescribed exercises in a manner regarded as satisfactory;
To conduct national tests and national assessment studies on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Training in order to monitor standards;