The Government in Swaziland (eSwatini) is refusing to release funds to some primary schools again this year as a row continues about how pupils are registered.
It will mean money will not be available for teacher and staff salaries and for vital supplies. In the past when funds were not paid some schools closed.
The problem has been happening for the past two years but the government has still not solved it.
It revolves around PIN numbers (personal identification numbers) for children which are issued by the government. Schools are paid funds against a PIN, not the name of a pupil. The amount of grant given depends on the number of pupils enrolled at the school. Many children do not have the numbers and the regional education offices have not been able to verify all those who do.
Many schools failed to meet a December 2019 deadline to submit PINs so will not get the free primary education (FPE) grants that the government is required to pay under the Swaziland Constitution. There are about 650 primary schools with about 240,000 pupils in Swaziland.
Minister of Education and Training Lady Howard-Mabuza, told the Times of eSwatini the problem of late submissions had been going on for years.
She told the newspaper about E3 million was due to be paid in funds.
Last year schools across Swaziland were forced to close because money was not available to pay for supplies such as electricity, chalk and paper.
Chaos and confusion across Swaziland as new school year starts
Primary schools grinding to a halt