‘NO INTERVIEWS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS ADMISSIONS’
Imitedlane to be allowed in class in same schools Siswati compulsory for first four grades
There will be no more interviews required for admission in public schools. This is according to the new National Education and Training Sector Policy which has been given to principals to implement, come January 2019.
The new policy, which has been issued by the ministry of education and training, states clearly that it must be ensured that no interviews or any kind of examination is required or applied to determine any admission criteria in public schools.
When given this policy which was accompanied by a new syllabus for the lower grades, principals were informed that this applies to learners who are starting from Grade Zero within the primary level.
Principals who received the policy just this past week expressed their shock as they said they do not understand what the ministry implies by that because there are no Grade Zero structures in schools and there is nothing that suggests that there ever will be.
The principals said the whole policy was just ridiculous. Some of the principals who were interviewed yesterday said the new policy was ‘chaotic’. The policy goes as far as mentioning the introduction of ICT in all schools across the board from primary to high school level.
According to the policy, information and communication technology plays an important role in the development of 21st Century skills. It is a key aspect in Eswatini’s fulfillment of its national development. The policy states that ICT will be introduced as learning and teaching tool for all sectors of education in Eswatini.
This did not go down well with principals. A principal who spoke on condition of anonymity stated that government is broke so introducing ICT in all sectors will mean they will have to construct computer laboratories even in primary schools, which is something that is impossible considering the financial status of government.
The principal said the policy is just impossible and what is worse is that they were never even consulted when such was put in place.
Meanwhile, Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) said as a union representing teachers, they embraced the new policy.
SNAT Secretary General Sikelela Dlamini said they were aware of the policy which is part and parcel of the new syllabus. He said, however, government must make sure that it provides tertiary institutions that would be able to accommodate the group of pupils who would be coming out of the new syllabus. Dlamini said it is true that there would be a need for government to provide infrastructure for the new developments which would come as a result of the implementation of the policy.
He said government must invest in infrastructure and personnel by reducing the teacher: pupil ratio as some teachers are forced to deal with a group of 40 learners, which is not right.
Meanwhile, the ministry of education justified this controversial syllabus by saying that the 2018 National Education and Training Sector Policy is the second document in the country to holistically address education and training issues.
The former Minister Phineas Magagula, who was present when the policy was crafted, said the review of the policy has provided an opportunity to incorporate pertinent issues and new developments related to education and training in Eswatini.
He said through the policy document, stakeholders within the education sector would be informed about the education and training sector components and the portfolio responsibilities of The ministry of education and Training. This Education and training Sector Policy is expected to be reviewed every five years to integrate and implement inputs from stakeholders.
AWARE: SNAT Secretary General Sikelela Dlamini.