MBABANE: The Ministry of Education and Training in eSwatini has released a parental consent form forcing parents to sign on behalf of their children that should schools, they will not protest.
These new developments come in the midst of the political unrest after children in various schools across the country engaged in protests demanding democratic reforms and the release of the arrested pro-democracy Members of Parliament(MPs).
Furthermore, children who are eighteen and above are expected to personally sign the form and disassociate themselves from the ongoing protests.
“I have read the terms and conditions laid down by the School as a condition of re-admission to the School following its closure as a result of the civil unrest. I hereby consent to the terms and conditions laid down by the School, that should I take part directly or indirectly in acts of vandalism, damage to property, destruction of property or any other act of misconduct under the Education Rules of 1977, I shall be suspended, expelled or be liable to make good the damage or loss caused to the School or Government “, reads the consent form in part.
Education Minister Lady Howard-Mabuza declined to comment when asked to clarify the issues surrounding the consent forms.
Reached for comments, Mbongwa Dlamini, the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers(SNAT) confirmed that some of their members who were Headteachers in various schools have informed them about the consent forms.
“It’s that the consent forms have been released by the Ministry of Education, our members who are Headteachers informed us about these new developments. But we want to state categorically that we as an organization representing teachers, we were never consulted about these forms”, said the SNAT President.
Eswatini is in the midst of a political crisis, citizens including children are demanding democratic reforms and the removal of King Mswati from power.
Protesting children forced to sign consent forms.