The writing of examinations across Swaziland / eSwatini is under threat because the government has not handed over grants to schools and they cannot pay for simple supplies such as paper. Electricity has been cut because of unpaid bills. There is also a long-running shortages of teachers.
Teachers and school principals marched on the Ministry of Education and Training and Cabinet offices to deliver a petition calling for funding to be paid.
The Swaziland Association of Schools Administrators (SASA), the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) with the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) and National Public Services and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU) took part on Thursday (18 July 2019).
SASA’s Chairperson Samkelo Dlamini said government had not paid money to schools and there were no resources to run them. The Swazi Observer reported, ‘He said the Examination Council had released the examination timetable and pupils were expected to go for exams, yet there are no teachers or teaching material. “We wish to put it on record that, your failure to finance education at primary school level and paying for those learners who are orphaned and vulnerable at high schools have rendered the schools becoming day care centres as opposed to institutions that should offer formal education,” Dlamini said.’
Public services across Swaziland, where King Mswati III rules as an absolute monarch, are in meltdown. The Swazi Government, which is not elected but handpicked by the King is broke and owes suppliers about E3 billion (US$215 million).
More than six in ten schools in Swaziland do not have enough teachers because of government financial cutbacks, the Eswatini Principals Association (EPA) President Welcome Mhlanga has said.
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