295 Swazis graduate from Zim University
MBABANE – Since partnering with Amadi College three years ago, Zimbabwe’s prestigious academic institution, Midlands State University (MSU) has so far produced, 295 Swazi graduates, mainly teachers.
Currently, there are 576 students from Swaziland pursuing courses at MSU - some of whom will graduate in December in a ceremony to be graced by the university’s chancellor President Robert Mugabe.
On Saturday, the university’s lecturers came all the way from Zimbabwe to Swaziland to assess academic projects for prospective graduands. The assessment helps the university ascertain the authenticity and originality of the work the students submit to the institution for grading. From Diploma level to Master’s Degrees, the Swazi students, chiefly teachers, stood before a panel of professors and other members of the Swazi academia to defend their projects by articulating the points they raised on the projects they submitted.
This, according to Dr Alois Solomon Chiromo, helps the university determine if the student standing before the panel is the one who wrote the thesis or it is somebody’s work.
"If the student fails to articulate the document, we begin to suspect that he’s not the one who authored the thesis. The projects the students do for the university are approved by Swaziland’s Ministry of Education. In fact, the certificates we give the students come at a price," said Dr Chiromo.
Dr Chiromo an author of books and modules said, though the courses were offered on a block release basis, the Swazi students sat for the same examination set for full time students in Zimbabwe. "That is why you have to work very hard if you want to succeed at MSU," said the lecturer.
He said he was happy with the academic performance of Swazi students who had recorded, so far, a pass rate exceeding 60 per cent.
He said the results for the Swazi students compared favourably with those of their Zimbabwean counterparts.
He said the curriculum was ‘slightly different’ from that of Zimbabwe because the one prepared for Swazis took into account cultural concerns, making it relevant to local needs, demands and expectations.
Meanwhile, five teachers interviewed namely Thuli Ntshakala, Lungile Dlamini-Sifundza, Gabsile Dlamini, Nokuthula Maseko-Sifundza and Bonisile Dlamini-Masuku said hard work and determination were key factors for success at MSU.