Schools near borderline hard hit by Siswati crisis
As the country shares borderlines with South Africa and there are many schools that are near the borderlines, teachers have revealed that such has a huge impact on the Siswati results in schools.
This is because most of these pupils living near the borderline are used to speaking Swati mixed with Zulu and it is not easy for them to grasp the real Siswati language and have a deeper understanding of it. During the contribution session of the Siswati panel, it surfaced that teachers also want the Eswatini Exams Council to review the way the marking of Siswati scripts is done.
They suspect that the marking may also somehow contribute to the results.
Meanwhile, some members pointed out that they stated earlier on that the workload given to pupils is way beyond their learning capacity.
“Kulokunye sake sasho tsine bothishela kutsi lomsebenti ubangetulu kwengcondvo yemfundzi, kodvwa emalunga atsikuyabalungela bafundzi” one of the members stated in vernacular.
Some members who teach both Siswati and English confessed that they put more effort in English Language because it is the passing subject.
“Yes..Nalokutsi vele nje our children are not allowed to speak Siswati etikolweni.. I remember one time ngicela kutsi fane sikhulunywe once a week, wuu ngatisola! Kanabasati ikakhulu tsine lesiseceleni kwemincele.
Sisenkingeni nje” a member stated in vernacular which can be roughly translated to mean she once tried to make a request that the Siswati Language be spoken at least once a week in schools but she was met with resistance. The panel recommended that maybe it is also time that they include those responsible for preparing exam papers and markers and get their views on what could be done. Another suggestion was that the panel must also look at past papers and match them against the current performance.
The panel said it will also take contributions from Siswati teachers at schools.
“This issue is seriously surrounded by attitudes. Parents themselves do not buy to this siSwati indaba, decision makers in some sectors do not buy into mentoring our children to love their own language.
“We need to stand up, organise a mini conference on this matter .... coz teachers bangenta nobe ngabe yini afike umtali atsi sonale siSwati sitakusita phi...uve a whole inspector kumphunyuke lanaye abuta kutsi sisita velele siSwati...so attitudes must radically addressed here” one of the members of the panel commented.