Thursday October 2, 2014

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Primary education in Swaziland begins at the age of six. It is a seven year program me  that culminates with an end of Primary school Examination [SPC] in grade 7 which is a locally based assessment  administered by the Examinations Council through schools. Primary Education is from grade 1 to grade 7. The provision of primary education is in line with the following Ministry’s mission and vision


Mission

“To provide relevant, quality and affordable education and training opportunities for the entire populace of the Kingdom of Swaziland in order to develop all positive aspects of life for self-reliance, social and economic development and global competitiveness”

Vision
“Attainment of quality in educational opportunity for all pupils of school going age irrespective of their socio economic background, with the ultimate goal of enhancing their productive capacity, thus improving the quality of their lives.”


The principal objective of primary education is the provision of relevant quality and affordable basic education for all pupils of school going age.
Swaziland has made good progress in education sector. Education is accessible to almost all the children in Swaziland. There are a number of initiatives done by Government to enhance access primary school education, but several challenges are notable. Urban areas are congested but there are spaces in rural areas that have comparatively lower average enrolment.

The Policy Framework and the National Constitution.
The provision of education in Swaziland is currently guided by the 1999 ‘National Policy Statement on Education reviewed in 2011 [MOET, 2011] and the National Constitution of 2005 Section 29 clause 6 on Education’ [2005] which clearly states that “Every Swazi child shall within three years of the commencement of this Constitution have the right to Free Education in public schools at least up to the end of grade 7”. The National Policy and the Constitution is clear on the Government’s intentions to offer BSIC Education of ten years, but within the limits of ‘Available financial and other resource capacities’. The ‘Free Primary Education Act’ of 2010 [MOET] section 10 clause 1 compels parents to send their children to school for Free Primary Education schooling. In the past enrolments in grade one was very low. Swaziland like other countries in the Eastern of Southern  African Region [ESAR]that are closely moving to implement the abolition of school fees in the primary level [ASF] as one of the strategies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] as well as Education for All [EFA] has implemented the program me in Grade 1 to 3. This program will be rolled out to each grade level until grade 7 and eventually abolish school fees in primary school completely by the year 2015.

Participation Access to Basic Primary Education: Programmes

Enrolment: Currently, there are 600 primary schools including private schools in the country with an enrolment of 239,793 pupils while the number of teachers is 4722 males and 7838 female teachers. According to the statistics, the literacy rate has increased from 87% to 91.3% [CSO] while the gross and NET enrolment rates at this level have increased is 2010 though there was a decline in participation rates is 2011 especially in Grade 1. The total enrolment from grade 1 to 7 in 2009 was 230 242 and in 2010 it was 242 037. The participation indices between boys and girls show that the proportion of those in schools within the expected age ranges. Children that had dropped out in Grade 2 were re- admitted in same Grade while all older beginners, school going age children were referred to the National Sebenta Institute for the National Universal Primary Education [NUPE] program me.

They would be allowed to sit for the Grade Seven External Examination and then absorbed in the normal education system. Government has implementing Free Primary Education through the Ministry of Education and Training. This programme is aiming at  addressing the Human Right issues in the provision of Basic Education, Swaziland has gradually implemented several programmes in all public primary schools to enable all children access Basic Education. The programmes are meant to address and eventually abolish school fees, the core barrier.


The Ministry of Education and Training has provided all primary school pupils with:-

  • Free Text and workbooks
  • Free Stationery
  • Free school furniture
  • Feeding programme and infrastructures
  • Free Exercise books,

All pupils under the Free Primary Education program me in Grade 1-3 have been provided with grants to cover all school expenses hence payments of school fees has been  abolished. This programme will  be rolled out gradually to the next grades levels until the last grade in 2015.Government has also provided schools with classrooms, toilets, grants for Orphans and Vulnerable Children {OVC} to enable them access Basic Education in all Primary schools. In addition to that Government has provided schools with additional teachers to teach the influx of children in public schools especially the classes implementing Free Primary Education. During the first year of implementing of Free Primary Education, Government provided schools with mobile classrooms due to unpredictable influx in various schools.

Primary school Curriculum
The primary school curriculum composed of the following subjects: - English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, SiSwati, French, Home Economics, Practical Art, and Physical Education.


Quality assurance: Monitoring and Evaluation of Teaching and Learning at Primary school level

There are thirty two regional Primary school Inspectors responsible for inspection and monitoring of schools. They ensure that quality teaching and learning is achieved.
Primary school Inspectors are generalists- that is they do not specialize during inspection. They inspect all the school components including the school administrator’s record books.

 
Mbabane
Swaziland
02.10.2014 - 08:10 - 11:10
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