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MANZINI – The Prime Minister (PM) Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini has ordered all primary schools, both private and public in the country, to conduct lessons in siSwati from Grade I to Grade IV.

Furthermore, siSwati will now be compulsory in all high schools and tertiary applicants will be required to take a competency test in siSwati before admission. As per the theme, the PM made the declarations in his mother tongue at the International Mother Language Day Celebration at The George Hotel yesterday.

In his speech, the PM said; “Furthermore, in all public and private primary schools in Swaziland, up to and including Grade IV, a child’s education will be conducted in siSwati. In the later grades of primary education, and in all high schools, siSwati will be one of the compulsory subjects in the curriculum. And before admission to tertiary education, all applicants will be required to take a competency test in siSwati.”

Clarifying the above policy was the Minister of Education and Training, Phineas Magagula, who said the country was not doing away with other languages at schools, however, pupils,  whether in private or publiv primary school, will not be expected to choose between siSwati and another language, instead, siSwati will be a core subject.

“We are progressing as a country and this means one day we want to be able to translate foreign words to siSwati in schools, words that are normally found in Mathematics or Geography.
“However, this cannot be done overnight. We need to assemble a team of siSwati experts who will come up with these words,” Magagula explained

He said their objective was to produce bilingual pupils whom they would also like to be trilingual as siSwati and English were the basic languages but were not the only ones currently taught in schools.
Preschools were not left out of the policies as it was declared that they would soon be required to teach in both English and siSwati.

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