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Status of Education

The country of Swaziland is located in the southern portion of Africa. Many of the
people in this country are farmers and in poverty. HIV/AIDS are rampant in this
country with a rate above thirty percent. The educational sector in Swaziland is in
the process of improvement. The Global Education First Initiative was established to
accomplish three priorities: put every child in school, improve the quality of
learning, and foster global citizenship(United Nations, 2015). This article will
discuss these three points with respect to the government of Swaziland and its
responsibility to make these priorities a reality.
Compared to America, the educational situation in Swaziland is less than optimal.
At aggregated level, there was 1 mathematics teacher for every 84 secondary
school enrollees(Relevant National Authorities, 2015). One of the reasons for such
a high student to teacher ratio is due to the recent legislation which has allowed for
affordable education. The objective of the new laws were to provide an equitable
and inclusive education system that affords all Swazi citizens access to free primary
education of real quality, followed by opportunities of lifelong education and
training, thus enhancing personal development and contributing to Swazilands
cultural development, socioeconomic growth and global competitiveness(Relevant
National Authorities, 2015). School fees were a real problem in Swaziland and
attributed to the absence of several children due to their destitute circumstances.
While this reform strengthened the number of students in school, the need for an
increase in teachers became the next important and urgent demand. As can be
seen from the graph below, Swaziland has a high percentage of students out of

school per one thousand in comparison to much of the world.

The World Bank Group provided this visual representation of the countries acorss the world
and the amount of children out of 1000 who were in the primary grade levels. Darker greens
represent higher numbers.

A fifteen percent increase in children was great for the country and can lead to
great leaps in the economy of the country as these children finish school.
This is one of the goals that the Relevant National Authorities for the Ministry of
Education of Swaziland have created and the others are as follows: (2) expand
and improve Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) especially for the
most vulnerable and dis advantaged groups (3)ensure
that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and th
ose belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and are able to complete basic e
ducation that is free, compulsory and of good quality(4)ensure that
the learning needs for all young people and adults are met

through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes,


(5)achieve a 50% improvement in levels of adult basic literacy by 2015 especially fo
r women and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults and
(6) eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005 and a
chieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring full and acc
ess to achievement in basic education of good quality(2015,18). If these goals are
adhered to, the country will continue to increase in its ability to provide an
education that will be sustainable for its current and future learners.
Improve the quality of learning
Part of the quest to provide for an improved quality of learning deals with the
countrys ability to correctly administer to its students. It was found that the total
public resources allocated to the education sector as percentage of GDP was much
lower in Swaziland than many other countries in the subregion. During 2003/2004,
the education spending as a percentage of GDP was estimated at about 5.9%.
Furthermore, during the first 10 years of the EFA initiative, the allocation of the
budget within education was biased towards to the tertiary education. Less than 1
percent of population was enrolled at university level, yet they accounted for 35
percent of the education resources; while 77 percent of the population was enrolled
at the primary level, yet only 38 percent of the budget. The biasness further led to
the exacerbation of income inequalities and poverty in the country(Relevant
National Authorities, 2015).I find these statistics alarming and indicative of the
irresponsible and apathetic feelings the government has towards the conditions of
the children, their future. With AIDS/HIV viruses running rampant and government
officials allocating funds in amount that are excessive, it is no wonder why this
country is in such a bad condition.

Foster global citizenship


The last priority of fostering global citizenship can be seen in the recent
Constitutional laws that require citizens, even women to be treated as equals to
men. While the boys and girls are at about the same rate of attendance in schools,
the attitude towards women is that they are less important and of less worth than
the men. While this constitutional law has yet to yield much fruit, it is the hope of all
that are just that brick by brick, the barrier may be broken down that is hindering
the advancement in education and overall self-worth of women.
As a country, I feel like Swaziland is home to many intelligent leaders who have the
potential of making a difference in their community. This can be seen with new laws
enacted that allow for students to attend school free of charge. Even though the
government is having a difficult time replacing the cost of fees the public sector
charged to give to the schools, the hope is that the imbalance of funds to the
tertiary level of education will be dealt with and the funds can be distributed to
primary and secondary schools. As Swaziland continues to pay attention to the
three priorities set forth by the UN and their own educational goals, this country can
see a change in pace for the better for generations to come.

Citations
United Nations. (2015). Priorities. Retrieved April 07, 2016, from
http://www.globaleducationfirst.org/priorities.html
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World Bank Group. (2016). Government expenditure per primary student as % of
GDP per capita (%). Retrieved April 08, 2016, from
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.XPD.PRIM.PC.ZS/countries/SZ?display=graph
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Relevant national authorities in view of the World Education Forum. (2015).
Education for All 2015 National Review Report: Swaziland (Rep.).