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MBABANE – The delay in the release of free primary education (FPE) grants has seen some pupils executing groundsman duties.

Pupils of Vulamehlo High School have taken the role of both learner and manual worker as a means to curb the lack of school staff in their school.
This was stated by the school’s Deputy, Cynthia Dlamini, during an interview yesterday.

The deputy was questioned about the implications of the delay of grants in the school.
Worth noting is that currently, mock examinations are ongoing at schools.

These are mid-term assessments which take place before final exams.
“We have not received FPE grants yet and this has resulted in our groundsman leaving the school as we have failed to pay him. In the meantime, pupils perform the duties of the groundsman,” said the deputy head teacher.


She went on to state that the delay of FPE payment had left them with no choice but to find other means of dealing with the situation as it stood. The deputy mentioned that the groundsman used to pick up papers, cut grass and clear the school premises.

Dlamini highlighted that other duties which the grounds man carried out involved fixing broken furniture such as chairs, desks and windows.
The deputy mentioned that in the case of the pupils, they picked up papers, cleared the yard by cutting grass and swept the school yard.

She stated that the pupils would alternate the duties, beginning with Form Is to Form Vs who were assigned to the duties starting from Monday. When questioned about meals, the deputy conceded that they were currently not serving meals to the pupils as the school did not have funds to pay school staff.

Swaziland Principals Association President Welcome Mhlanga did not stipulate the specific figures of the schools which have not received grants, as he stated that he did not have a prepared list.  However, he mentioned that he was receiving calls from head teachers informing him that they still had not received grants. 

“Not all schools have been issued FPE grants. There have been some who are calling and stating that they have not yet received their grants,” Mhlanga said.


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