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DO AWAY WITH TOP-UP FEES - KING

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LOBAMBA – His Majesty King Mswati III is concerned about schools that charge top-up fees for children who benefit under the Free Primary Education (FPE).


He has since called upon government to work with schools and parents to formulate the best funding mechanism with the objective of eliminating the top-up fees that deprive children of the opportunity to benefit from FPE.


The King was speaking yesterday when delivering his Speech From The Throne during the official state opening of the First Session of the 10th Parliament.
His Majesty said all Swazi children deserved access to quality education.


Mechanism


“It is in this vein that government should work with schools and parents to formulate the best funding mechanism with the objective of eliminating the top-up fees that deprive children of their opportunity to benefit from it.
“With the ongoing upgrading of our colleges into university level and the establishment of the Higher Education Council, no efforts should be spared in improving the quality of our graduates,” he said.
Minister of Education and Training Phineas Magagula recently called a press conference where he warned head teachers to desist from charging top-up fees.
The minister said education should be affordable. 


Yesterday the King said government needs to address the rising number of students enrolling in institutions of higher learning outside the country due to lack of space locally.
“We must encourage the development of local facilities and the improvement of the quality of our education to match the standards of foreign countries. It is not enough, however, to just educate our children to become job seekers. We must transform our children into entrepreneurs,” he said.


Innovators


His Majesty said the country’s education system should produce innovators who have the potential to change people’s lives as well as their own.
His Majesty’s Speech From The Throne really set the tone for the year ahead in various sectors of society as he addressed a number of issues.
With regards to the youth, many of whom are school leavers, His Majesty said they need to be catered for.


 “If not employed, funds must be made available to help sustain them to avoid the social problems that become a burden to the nation. The Youth Fund plays a very critical role in this regard. Therefore, government will continue to make provision for this facility,” he said.

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