SWAPA warns principals: Do not close schools
MANZINI- The Swaziland Principals Association (SWAPA) has warned its members not to close schools because of the ongoing Swaziland National Association of Teachers’ (SNAT) waya waya protest.
This was resolved during a principals’ meeting at Prince Mfanyana Hall yesterday.
The meeting was attended by over 200 principals from different schools countrywide.
The association’s President, Mduduzi Bhembe said the association went to the Ministry of Education and Training and to seek advice on the protest, but the Ministry allegedly did not want to commit itself on the issue.
"I would like to advise principals not to close schools. We do not interfere in other people’s affairs. Our duty is to supervise the schools and also look at the safety of pupils, teachers and property," Bhembe said. He said they had to effect the mandate of the ministry.
Bhembe said there was a registry which principals had to use to record the names of each and every teacher who came to work on a daily basis. "That registry has to be submitted to the Regional Education Office (REO) for an analysis, therefore, I would like to urge principals not to close schools," Bhembe said.
Other principals were given the platform to voice out their views and one of them noted how parents spent their hard earned money daily sending pupils to schools only to be turned back.
"As an association, let us not take a universal decision, but each and every principal should make his or her own decision as we are the ones facing the challenges at different schools," one of the principals said. Bhembe pointed out that principals were also not paid huge salaries by the government, but they chose to honour government, their employer, therefore, they should not close schools until further notice.
"When there is lightning, as a head of the family, you cannot go under the table together with the children, you have to face the challenges that come with the lightning," Bhembe said.
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