31 August 2011
SSN urges all Swazis to protest over student allowances
The Swaziland Solidarity Network would like to urge all its solidarity partners to protest against the Swaziland government’s very bizarre decision to reduce tertiary students’ allowances by 60%.
This decision is bizarre because for many years the students in the country have been protesting that the allowances given to them no longer sustained them due to the fact that they were never adjusted annually to cater for inflation.
With the current fiscal crisis, the government has not only ignored the students’ please for an increase in their allowances but has reduced them to an amount that effectively makes it impossible for most students to continue with their studies.
Most students in Swaziland come from very poor backgrounds where their tertiary education is the only hope of them escaping the cycle of poverty. Such students are known to use the little allowances that they get from the Swazi government to help their younger siblings through school and to help them with their living expenses.
With the cut in student’s allowances, the Swazi government is effectively raising saying that only those students who come from well to do families will be able to afford to have tertiary education.
The Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU) has already taken a lead in this matter by planning a protest action on Friday, the 2nd of September. We urge all other organizations to join in this protest in order to let the students’ voices be heard.
Issued By the Swaziland Solidarity Network [SSN]