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MBABANE – Following Parliament’s motion of urgent public importance that the Minister of Education and Training should halt the payment of 2020 outstanding fees, Minister Lady Mabuza has complied.

Mabuza yesterday immediately suspended the payment of last year’s school fees during a brief press conference which was held in her office.  The press conference, which was first slated for 2pm, was postponed to 3pm. Even then, it took another hour for the minister to attend to reporters as she eventually met them at around 4pm. There was a semblance of a sombre mood when Minister Mabuza made her remarks, as she was not in her usual high spirits.


“The Ministry of Education and Training is aware that the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges to the country, especially the education sector. Schools and training institutions were instantly brought to a halt in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. Taking into consideration that schools were advised to use the available funds for the COVID-19 related issues, notwithstanding our instruction, the ministry would like to convey the following; that head teachers suspend forthwith the collection of the previous year’s (2020) school fees,” the minister said. She said head teachers and school committees were requested to present the financial statements/expenditures for the 2020 academic calendar year. A head teacher, who preferred to comment on condition of anonymity, said the ministry’s instruction would open a can of worms as she  (minister) had been obligated by parliamentarians who were not aware of what was really happening on the ground.


“The quality of education is already compromised and this will worsen the situation further. Mine is to say we will watch our education crumble,” he said. Eswatini Principals Association (EPA) President Welcome Mhlanga said what the minister had declared was well in order, in that school heads had already done this. “Some schools were able to do what the ministry has required (presenting financial statements/expenditure and budget proposals for 2020/21 academic year) for parents’ approval,” said Mhlanga.


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