MBABANE: Lady Howard Mabuza, the Minister of Education and Training failed to fully implement a Parliament resolution, Principals across the country are demanding school fees for last year and refusing to refund parents as the situation manifests into an education crisis.
This comes after MPs passed a motion moved by Matsanjeni North MP Phila Buthelezi directing the Education Minister to stop the payment of school fees for last year and further refund parents who had paid.
An independent investigation by this Swaziland News uncovered that Principals across the country were warned by government not to dare refund parents without a written instrument from the Ministry of Education, in the meantime, children whose parents failed to pay the money are denied entry into the classrooms.
Speaking to this publication, Sabsile Dlamini, a parent at Evelyn Baring High School told this publication that she paid E12,600.00 as boarding fees for her child last year, however, the school\'s Principal Xolani Ginindza refused to refund her despite that children were not at school.
“I only requested the E12,600.00 boarding fee refund to buy uniforms for this year because the child was not at school but home and this means I was buying food doing everything while the money was with the school”, she said.
Dlamini said the Principal Xolani Ginindza later said he could not refund her the money without a written directive from the Ministry of Education saying once the money was deposited into the school account, it was then owned by the State.
Reached for comments, Mfanawenkhosi Maseko, the Evelyn Baring High School School Commitee Chairman said they were waiting for a go-ahead from the Ministry of Education whether to refund parents or not and the processes that needed to be followed.
“Before we refund them, we need an instrument on how this should be done because monies deposited into the school account belongs to the State. We are waiting for a go ahead from the Ministry and once we receive that instrument, we will then calculate the costs incurred by the school last year while children were at home and then we can refund the parents” ,said the School Committee Chairman.
A questionnaire was sent to Lady-Howard Mabuza, the Minister of Education and Training, however, she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Speaking to this Swaziland News, Mbongwa Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers(SNAT) said the issue of refunds might soon cause chaos in the various schools and the country.
“Head Teachers are following the law and policies by refusing to refund parents, that would be an audit query. But in the absence of an instrument that supports the refunds, the school must engage the parents so that the money could be used maybe for next year” ,said the SNAT President.
Education Minister Lady Howard-Mabuza