SITEKI: Sibongile Mazibuko, the former President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers(SNAT) has criticised Minister of Education Lady Howard Mabuza for ignoring the plight of teachers in rural schools.
Mazibuko said it was wrong for the Minister to blame teachers and urged them to solve the challenges in the schools including transport knowing very that the Lubombo region was affected by drought and facing many social challenges. She reacting to an article published by this Swaziland News after being asked to share a comment regarding the plight of teachers at Loyiwe Primary and other rural schools in the country. It has been revealed that most of the rural schools that produced poor results in the Standard Five and JC results, the educators are reportedly working under difficult conditions.
“Why put the blame on teachers yet the schools belong to the government? Why employ workers without providing them with working tools?” Mazibuko wondered.
Smangele Nxumalo, the Headteacher at Loyiwe Primary said the challenges faced by teachers resulted in her school not doing well in the Standard Five results.
“I did not have enough teachers, they were leaving the school due to poor working conditions like lack of transport. We are also facing shortage of teachers’ houses, lack of water, this forced most of these qualified teachers to leave to other schools where the conditions are better,” she said.
Lady Howard, the Minister of Education and Training, in an earlier interview with this publication said the teachers must find ways of tackling the challenges facing the schools in the rural areas saying government was facing fiscal challenges.
“They can even seek accommodation from the nearby homes. This is not a problem faced by them alone, government is in fiscal challenges” said the Minister.
A teacher who spoke on conditions of anonymity said the problems was perpetrated by the corruption within the Teaching Service Commission(TSC).
“The TSC should deploy teachers in their home areas so that they can stay with their families to solve the shortage of houses and transport. If I am teaching in a school situated in my home are, it means I will stay at home and there would no need for government to provide me with a house. But this is impossible with the corruption at TSC, they employ those with corrupt connections hence the problem will continue” said the teacher.
Education Minister Lady Howard-Mabuza