Times of Eswatini

Parents: We are being bullied


MBABANE – “We are being bullied”.

Parents of Mbabane Central High School pupils relayed this message yesterday during a parents meeting called to discuss the reopening of schools and signing of consent forms.

The parents, who came in numbers, refused to sign the consent forms, citing that the forms infringed on the rights of their children and they further allowed government to bully them into decisions they had no control over. One parent said he would not sign the form and give away control of his children to government.

“We are here today because all our lives we have been ruled and bullied by government. They want us to sign away our children so they can kill them together with the police; we cannot have that, therefore, I cannot sign it,” said the parent.

The parents said they did not understand why they were also forced to sign the consent forms which is in two parts wherein one part is for parental consent. In this segment, it reads: “By law it is required that children under the age of 18 should provide written consent from their parents or guardians to participat­e or enter into contracts or agreements by whatever name called.” The parents were not for the consent form idea and said that it was antagonisi­ng. They were of the view that the forms were made to instil fear in both parents and pupils. “Why are we signing forms? The ministry should just open schools and allow children to fight for whatever they believe is within their rights,” said the parent. Another parent said government was just avoiding the actual problem. “Government seemingly has money to waste; how will they be able to print so many forms to be signed and where are these forms going to be kept?” wondered the parent. The parents collective­ly decided to leave the consent forms at the school and wait for the Head teacher, Rejoice Ndzinisa, to submit the minutes of the meeting to the Ministry of Education and Training.


One parent said the head teacher had done justice by calling the meeting only to be met with such grievances regarding the forms.

“This shows that you were all rushed to do this. They gave you an order to ambush us with this and we will not sign by any chance,” said yet another parent. Principal Secretary in the ministry, Bhekithemb­a Gama, said they were yet to meet to discuss the costs of the consent form exercise. Gama mentioned that today they would meet with relevant stakeholde­rs to find a way forward.

“Nothing has been finalised yet. We are yet to meet and discuss a way forward. The negative energy and responses to this was expected but we will find a way,” said Gama.

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