NUL alumnus writes science textbook

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By Neo Kolane

Twenty-four-year old Kemelo Matela has written a science textbook titled ‘Purified Chemistry’, which he says was prompted by the observation that more than 90 percent of grade 12 learners do not perform well in the Sciences (Mathematics & Physical Science).

Matela, who hails from Qalo in Botha-Bothe, says he believes do not score good results because the textbooks they use are not locally authored and therefore do not meet their needs.

“The authors do not have any experience of Lesotho education hence their books are written in the context of their countries; this makes it hard for us local students to relate, because we fail to grasp the context.

Matela was raised by his grandmother whom he lost a week before his COSC final exams in 2013.

“She raised me after I had lost my mom at seven years and my dad when I was eight years old. I attended my primary school at Qalo Primary and obtained a first class pass after which I proceeded to Qalo High School. I also passed my JC with first class and was in the top 10 in my COSC. I was the second student from Qalo High School to obtain a top 10 ranking in COSC. I was the best student in Physical Science in the Botha-Bothe district.”

He then went up to the National University of Lesotho where he graduated last year (2019) with First Class in BSc Chemical Technology and graduated top his class.

Matela has been involved in several scientific researches from which he published five internationally peer-reviewed scientific research articles based in the following countries: Italy (2), Nigeria (1), Brunei Darussalam (1) and Malaysia (1).

“Secondly, I think the reason why we fail is because of lack of motivation to study. The modern academic books are still written the same way as ancient books.

“If one can look for the first book to be written, The Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 2100 BC, it looks similar to the modern books (introduction, body, summary); no motivation incorporated. I think ancient people were motivated by little resources they had. But for us, there lots of resources – lots of books, but we fail dismally due to lack of motivation.”

Matela states that in this textbook, every chapter includes a motivational quote to inspire students.

“So according to me and based on my experience, I think this kind of push inspiration should be incorporated in books for students to do better,” he concluded.

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