Swaziland Parliament Forces Education Minister to Drop School Fees During Coronavirus Lockdown

Members of the Swaziland (eSwatini) House of Assembly forced the Minister of Education and Training, Lady Mabuza, to halt plans to make parents pay school fees even though classes had been stopped for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They threatened her with a motion of no confidence if she did not comply.

Schools are due to start reopening on 29 March 2021 and parents are expected to pay fees for both last year and the present one.

Moving an emergency motion, Phila Buthelezi told the House children only had five weeks schooling last year. He said there was no justification to make parents pay fees because children were at home.

He said, 'As we speak, some parents have failed to register their children for the current academic year, which is supposed to begin next week because the head teachers had stated that there was an instruction from the ministry that they should demand last year's outstanding fees first.'

The motion was carried and Mabuza was given until Tuesday afternoon (23 March 2021) to comply. Mabuza said she would implement the motion.

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