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MBABANE – There might be no proms even this year.

This is according to information that was gathered from different schools within Eswatini as head teachers shared the impossibilities of hosting such events this year. Dressing up in a beautiful gown and suit may be a distant dream for school leavers, who have not only had a disrupted academic year but have lost out on many of the social highlights of their last year at school. A promenade dance, commonly called dance prom is a dance party of high school pupils. This event is typically held near the end of the senior year. Last year, around this time the country was dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic which prohibited gatherings.

This year the hosting regulations have been eased up. On Saturday, Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini announced relaxed COVID-19 measures which took effect on the same day. He announced that the curfew hours would remain from 9pm to 4am. Outdoor entertainment events will now be allowed with a maximum of 500 people and liquor is not allowed to be served at social events. Despite the relaxed regulations, some schools will not be hosting prom night.  Speaking to Simon Mthunzi, who is the Principal of Kobe High School, he said they had no plans.

He highlighted the challenges they had which were also caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “The current situation has halted so many plans academically. We have no plans of hosting such events as we are still trying to teach despite the different challenges,” he said. It is worth noting that the above mentioned school is one of the schools that annually host prom nights. The Deputy Head Teacher of SAIM Christian High School, Makhosazane Nxumalo also shared the same thoughts. “Hosting such events would be out of track. The school has nothing in the pipeline,” she said.

However, Sibane Sami Hotel said they had no bookings but they did have some schools who called for enquiries. Happy Valley also said they only received requests of quotations to host prom nights. Khanyisile Simelane, who has a child currently writing form V exams said she also saw no need for the prom night.  She went on to share the challenges she had to face as her son was learning from home. “This year was challenging to us as parents and to our children. I do understand the whole concept behind the prom night but I don’t think it would be a wise decision to host one now. Maybe next year just a celebration,” she said.
 Zamekile Makhubu also said students should focus more on their studies.

“This is a critical period with so many distractions. As a parent it would be nice to do something for my daughter as soon as she is done with exams as a way of celebrating her coming off age with completing her high school,” she added.

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