Sebenta National Institute is a non-profit making organization (public enterprise) that provides a variety of services to enable people to achieve personal goals through Adult Basic Literacy and Non-formal Education.

Sebenta believes that a majority of the rural and peri-urban population in Swaziland is underdeveloped, and disempowered in part because of illiteracy, yet there is no way rapid development may be attained with an illiterate population. She believes that the ability to communicate, read, write and speak with confidence is the key to the up-liftment of Swazis.

The Institution strives to deliver a professional Basic Literacy Programme through professionally trained personnel who are dedicated to the course, armed with necessary resources and a broad inclusive curriculum.

Mission Statement:

Sebenta National Institute is committed to providing adult education and training to all communities throughout the Kingdom of Swaziland to achieve a better quality of life. Its mission is to help the people of Swaziland to read, write and speak with greater competency so that they can:

  • share the wealth of wisdom contained in the world’s literature
  • communicate effectively
  • cope with modern world
  • master the skills of independent study and
  • improve their chances of meaningful employment or self-help projects


Sebenta National Institute has a vision of “promoting the culture of life-long learning to the marginalized/disadvantaged members of the Swazi Nation” such that they become the drivers of their own development


In carrying out her mandate, Sebenta strives to fulfill the following objectives:

  • To teach learners how to read, write and count.
  • To help adult learners and communities to improve their standard of living.
  • To encourage learners and communities to participate in developmental projects.
  • To partner with the government in the provision of non-formal primary education to out of school children and youth.


  • Sebenta National Institute is a public enterprise under the Ministry of Education. The organization has an Executive Board of Directors whose aims and objectives include:

Providing leadership and direction to the operations of the Institute
Ensuring that the institute operates within the broad policy framework and guidelines.

Functional Areas:

  • Administration
  • Finance
  • Catering and accommodation
  • Curriculum and Learning Section
  • Field Operations    (Regional Supervision)

(Volunteer Facilitators)
(Monitoring & Evaluation - Statistics)                       
(Technical – Skills)                              


The Education and Training Department incorporates the core business of Sebenta, and is comprised of the Curriculum Development, Field Section and the Monitoring and Evaluation (Statistical) Sections.

The Curriculum section; plan and provide training and learning resources for the Basic literacy, Non Formal Primary Education (for out of school children), and Skills development programmes as per the demands of both the learners and environment. The section develops reviews and evaluates the training and learner materials from time to time, and is tasked to set up a comprehensive resource centers for the learners, facilitators and interested individuals.

The Field Operations Section; directs manages and supervises the training and learning activities at the field operational level. It is tasked with providing on the ground learning and training skills to the facilitators; effectively mobilizing the community and other collaborators into using the services offered by Sebenta, as well as to network with the stakeholders to facilitate the delivery of Sebenta’s mandate.

The Monitoring and Evaluation section; assesses the impact of the literacy, Life skills and non-formal education programmes and provides effective technical, financial, management and economic analysis and evaluation of projects and programmes of the institute.

In addition there is the Vocational Skills Section comprising of three skills development courses; i.e. 6 months Sewing and Fashion Designing course; a 12 months Carpentry course and the 24 months Block making and Building course which commenced in March this current year. Furthermore, the section runs practical projects that include; knitting, crocheting, fence making. 

Sections supporting the core business of Education and Training include the following sections:

Printing works; which is used to print and publish Literacy, NUPE and Skills development materials and other office print works necessary for running the institution.

The Administration and Finance Sections; which are mandated for running the administrative and financial tasks of   the Organization. These also monitor the financial, physical implementation of projects, as well as evaluate consultant’s proposals for studies and bid for project implementation for the institute and participate in contract negotiations.

Also attached to the Administration section is the Catering; which was originally established to offer housekeeping / accommodation functions for the Curriculum Department’s training sessions. The catering and accommodation facilities are also extended to the external market at a minimal charge.


In its endeavor to promote and advance literacy levels in Swaziland, Sebenta offers the following programmes.

1. Basic Literacy (SiSwati):

This course runs over nine months. It aims at providing literacy skills to adults and out-of-school youth in basic needs of reading, writing and arithmetic. It also aims to create awareness in social and economic development among learners and their communities.

2.  Basic & Post Basic English and Numeracy Course:

This is a two-year course in which learners enroll after graduating from the Basic Literacy (SiSwati) course. Those already literate in SiSwati qualify for it at pre-
Evaluation stage where they are given tests. This course provides learners with skills in written and spoken English to allow adults the youth the chance of continuing with their education. This is especially so because in the formal sector the medium of instruction for almost all subjects is English.

3. Non-formal Upper Primary Education (NUPE):

The NUPE programme was introduced because Sebenta’s basic literacy and numeracy skills are equivalent to Grade 4 in the formal school system. Learners may wish to continue with their education but because of their age, find that it would be awkward. They may wish to improve their chances of getting employment, return to the formal school system, access training schemes that require a higher level of education or improve their quality of life.    

NUPE Objectives Are:

  • To provide learners with an opportunity to move beyond basic literacy
  • To provide learners with the means of achieving a qualification equivalent to the Swaziland Primary Certificate awarded at Grade 7. This certificate allows one to proceed to Form I.
  • To provide a curriculum that is appropriate for the destitute young learners who attend Sebenta classes as an alternative to paying relatively high fees in formal schooling. The NUPE curriculum provides them the opportunity to rejoin the formal system.
  • The curriculum is learner-centered and competence based. It offers six subjects. It builds on the learner’s existing knowledge and skills, giving credit for competence already acquired.
  • It fosters a spirit of enquiry, helping learners analyze and evaluate issues. Learners are encouraged to develop self-confidence, self-dependency, self-reliance and understanding of the world around them.
  • NUPE Curriculum materials are delivered in English and SiSwati, as dictated by the learner’s circumstances. The subjects offered are English, SiSwati, Mathematics, Social Studies, Belief Systems and Science. The teaching methods are participatory, which encourages learners to play an active role in the learning process. The approach encourages learners to take responsibility for their own learning and development. Learners are involved as partners, rather than as recipients of education.

Non-Formal Primary Education.
The Non-Formal Primary education programme was rolled out in 2010 in full partnership with the Government of Swaziland. This programme’s aim is to ensure educational access to the children who could not access primary education due to socio-economic challenges at the required age. The age range for these children is 10 - 18 years. Selected primary schools are used to teach the over-aged children after working hours. Current and retired Primary school teachers are recruited to facilitate learning for these children.

Objectives of Non Formal Primary Education
To provide educational access, following the non-formal education route to children who could not access education at the required age.
To provide learners with the means of achieving a qualification equivalent to the Swaziland Primary Certificate awarded at Grade 7. This certificate allows one to proceed to Secondary education; formal or non-formal.

Vocational and Practical Skills Training

Sebenta runs vocational training courses in Building, Carpentry & Joinery, and Sewing. These courses run for nine months each. Learners qualify after completing the Sebenta Post Basic English course. Of late, however, Sebenta has found itself contending with the arrival of people who were in the formal school system to enroll in some or all of these courses. The institute does not turn them away.

Life Skills Education (LSE):

Life skills are not exactly a separate programme but are incorporated into all the programmes. The idea is that life skills are enshrined in both SiSwati and English Literacy, and NUPE subjects.

Sebenta also has a programme at Maphatsindvuku, an area in the Lubombo Region, where orphans and vulnerable children are assisted with food and other needs. This project has among other things, a hammer-mill where local residents have their maize ground into maize-meal – at a fee. The money goes to caring for these orphans, most of whose parents died from AIDS.

Printing Services:

Sebenta has her Printing works; it is used to print and publish readers’ materials used  in the Literacy, NUPE and Skills development education and training programmes. Inaddition, external jobs are sourced solely for income generating purposes.


To enquire and / or access the Institute’s services use the following contacts:

•    Telephone: +268404 2644, +268551 6168 and +268404 5997

•    TeleFax: +268404 2729

•    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,

•    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

•    Office Address: P.O. Box 64 Mbabane. Swaziland. Southern Africa.

•    Office Location: Along Somhlolo road, opposite Swaziland College of Technology (SCOT)

•    Enquiries may also be made at; Regional Administration Offices, Tinkhundla centres, Community leadership in Chiefs’ Kraals and Regional Education Offices

Public Relations: +268404 2644, +268763 24590 


  • Reduced illiteracy rate
  • Increased standard of living of previously marginalized and disadvantaged members of our society through the acquisition of knowledge and skills from the Institute.
  • Previously disadvantaged, marginalized individuals participating in decisions concerning their development through functional literacy
  • Community Projects initiated through functional literacy
  • A society that embraces the concept of lifelong learning.
  • Reduced poverty rate
  • Reduced crime rate as a result of wage and self employment




  • To provide leadership and direction to the operations of Sebenta.
  • To ensure that the institute operates within the Board’s policy framework and guidelines.


  • Conduct the affairs of Sebenta in the interest of the stakeholders
  • Formulating general policies and ensuring their implementation
  • Preservation of assets, maintenance of reserves, the assurance that working capital is available, that expenditure is controlled all of which should be achieved without undue risk to the Institute.
  • Appointing officers to key positions in the Institute.
  • Setting standards of behavior and attitudes – good business ethics.
  • Ensuring that the efficiency of management is influenced by enlightened human relationships.
  • Decide upon specific projects for the Institute to undertake, formulate amend or repeal rules and bye- laws for the smooth functioning of the affairs of the institute.
  • Establish schemes of control by which the activities and progress of the Institute is to be assessed.
  • Determine main objectives and giving guidelines for the major departmental objectives.
  • Reporting on the Institute’s activities to the stakeholders.



  • To plan and provide training and learning resources for the literacy programme according to the environmental demands and those of the clientele.
  • To develop, evaluate and review training and learning material periodically.
  • To set up a comprehensive resource centre for the learners and facilitators.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the produced material and react accordingly.


  • Providing support for courses, conferences and workshops.
  • Providing interpretation and translation services in support of Sebenta’s literacy program.
  • Carry out commercial jobs such as translation.
  • Developing the library with a comprehensive collection of pertinent literature on adult literacy activities, vocational management and other relevant human behavior
  • Assist in the training of facilitators.
  • Build community awareness and establish links with the community including assessing their needs and developing strong community support.
  • Conduct needs assessment tests.
  • Identify learning resources for conducting Sebenta Literacy activities.
  • Develop curriculum for all courses presented by the Institute.
  • Develop relevant training and learning materials to enhance the impact of training delivery.
  • Assist in the recruitment and enrollment of students.
  • Network with other vocational/training institutions.
  • Overall planning and setting up of all learning resources for the literacy programme.
  • Prepare and produce suitable course material for the Literacy Programme.
  • Develop new materials for the improvement of the literacy programme if a need arises.
  • Ensure that professionalism prevails in all materials produced.
  • Controlling and reordering of Library books.
  • Maintain stock of all learning resources.
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the course content teaching method, and the use of visual aids.
  • Draw up budget and raise funds for conducting Sebenta Activities.



  • To effectively mobilize the community into realizing and taking advantage of the mandate of Sebenta.
  • To effectively provide functional training and learning skills to the facilitators & learners.
  • To direct, manage and monitor the training and learning activities in the field.
  • To monitor and provide the field staff with the managerial support.
  • To network with Sebenta stakeholders in order to facilitate the delivery of Sebenta’s Mandate. Stakeholders such as Chiefs, Industry, Tinkhundla, community based communities & government field officers.


  • Work closely with Chiefs, Tinkhundla, Community Based Organizations, Government Fields Officers to identify communities that need literacy classes/service
  • Prepare and conduct placement test for learners
  • Recruit facilitators and identify training needs for facilitators.
  • Arrange refresher courses for facilitators and identify training needs for facilitators
  • Prepare and conduct monthly class visits.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluating literacy lessons and produce monthly reports.
  • Identify self-help projects with learners and facilitators.
  • Conduct monthly meetings with facilitators and make recommendations
  • Manage basic education project portfolio.
  • Identification and review of education program opportunities, the review and selection of proposals.
  • Development of statements of work for Sebenta field activities, implementation projects, technical analysis and monitoring.
  • Develop strong working relationships with Sebenta partners at grassroots level.
  • Liaison with industry with a view to delivering literacy programs.
  • Coordination of the students' experimental learning activities, including the evaluation of their performance.
  • Contribute to the teaching and support of students in training.



  • To assess the impact of the literacy programme.
  • To provide effective technical, financial, management and economic analysis and evaluation of projects and programs for the institute.
  • To monitor the financial and physical implementation of projects of the institute and liaise with the technical departments during the implementation of such projects.
  • To evaluate consultant’s proposals for studies and bids for project implementation for the institute and to participate in contract negotiations.


  • Ensuring that Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) procedures are established and maintained so as to provide sufficient basis for reviewing Sebenta’s operations.
  • Conducting end – of - training (course) evaluations for all courses presented by Sebenta.
  • Conducting Impact Assessment (including tracer studies of beneficiaries) for all of Sebenta’s projects.
  • Discuss project progress with project staff and or with business- processes team leaders and staff.
  • Guide Sebenta Management on the relevance or otherwise of projects or other activities to the overall objectives of the institute.
  • Plan and conduct regular field monitoring activities on Sebenta’s literacy programmes.
  • Compile information on monitoring and evaluation for distribution to interested parties within Sebenta.
  • Write reports on monitoring and evaluation activities.
  • Educate Sebenta staff through workshops about the expectations of the Institute on monitoring and evaluation exercises.
  • Assist in the formulation of project objectives on literacy programmes for evaluation purposes.
  • Assist in reviewing courses.
  • Provide feed-back to Sebenta Management on the overall performance of the Institute.



  • To formulate, develop, print and publish quality material for Sebenta and the public cost effectively.
  • To, in the short term, operate in a cost recovery manner.
  • To, in the medium term, operate in a self-sustaining manner
  • To, in the long term, is one of the sources of income for the institute.


  • Printing and disseminating Sebenta’s literacy books to various customers.
  • Printing production planning and control ensuring good quality control on all printing works by the Institute.
  • Formulating, developing, publishing and ensuring the implementation of Sebenta’s policies, procedures and practices relating to efficient printing.
  • Advising and assisting other departments in the consistent application of approved printing standards, procedures and methods , in administering improvement progrmmes, establishing labor standards, and eliminating off-standard conditions in the Print-shop.
  • Market the services provided by the department to potential customers.
  • Establish and maintain sustained professionalism of the printing area by producing high quality products.
  • Aggressively source new customers with competitive offerings.
  • Run the print shop as a “commercial business”.
  • Develop good customer relations with clients.
  • Identify good credible sources of supplies and suppliers.
  • Order raw materials in collaboration with the Purchasing Officer.



To provide financial management and accounting services to all sections in the institute in accordance to the professional financial accounting instructions and stores regulations.


  • Financial planning and control.
  • Conducting general accounting on the Institutes’ Finances.
  • Establishing financial/accounting systems and procedures for the Institute.
  • Costing and budgetary control.
  • Issuing quarterly / monthly summaries of the use of funds and their deployment to other Heads of Departments.
  • Drawing the attention of the Board to problem areas.
  • Providing Recommendations for cost improvements
  • Assisting in the development of budgets and costs in a department –by department basis.
  • Setting Financial, pricing and tariff policies and criteria in collaboration with other departments.
  • Conducting financial risk analysis and advising management accordingly.
  • Conducting financial /business performance analysis for Sebenta.
  • Preparing and processing salary and benefits payment s for Sebenta staff.
  • Drafting and submission of comprehensive report to the Board on the Institute's financial performance.
  • Management of general ledger, debtors and creditors.
  • Management of cash flow and asset finance requirements.
  • Monthly, quarterly and annual financial reporting to Sebenta’s management and Board of Directors.
  • In collaboration with the purchasing officer, jointly prepare tender documents, its cost and bidding procedures.
  • Managing Sebenta stores and stock control.
  • Ensure that proper quotations are received from potential supplies before purchase of raw materials are made.
  • Ensure that jobs are completed and delivered to customers on time
  • Purchasing goods for the Institute.
  • Liaising with other departments to agree on what should be purchased monthly.



  • To provide leadership and direction in the Institute’s operations.
  • To ensure that the institute operates within the Board’s broad policy framework and guidelines.
  • To provide an effective and efficient human resources management service.
  • To provide effective and efficient transport, office administration, communications and information management services in the Institute.


  • Conducting general day to day administration of the Institute.
  • Recruitment and general employment of staff
  • Employee relations and consultation
  • Management development and performance enhancement activities.
  • Health, staff welfare and safety at work
  • Costing and estimating of purchases and variations of small contracts
  • Keeping records and statistics of employee, of trained students of literacy programme and of Sebenta’s assets.
  • Managing security and transport functions
  • Handling retirements, dismissals and compensations
  • Continuously conduct training needs and assessment of all staff
  • Plan and implement training activities for all Sebenta staff.

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