Education System in Swaziland
The Swaziland education system follows the British model, with the notable exception that there are few kindergartens or nursery schools. Primary school, where a spread of general subjects forms the curriculum lasts for 7 years. At the end of this period, pupils must obtain a good pass in the Swaziland primary certificate examination, for seats in secondary schools are scarce.
Less than 1 in 5 primary school pupils enter secondary school, which is neither compulsory nor free. The curriculum is comprehensive and structured around the goal of obtaining entrance to university. The first 3 years culminate in a junior certificate examination, while the next 2 lead to O-Levels. There are only 3 schools in Swaziland that present 6th Form A-Level education.
The poverty that characterises the rural areas makes ironic nonsense of academic aspirations for most children, whose parents could not in any case afford secondary school fees. There are however efforts in place to extend distance learning and improve the use of the state radio service. For many children primary school is the end of the process, because their hands are needed around the family homestead where traditional skills are passed down to them.
The country’s state tertiary institutions are limited to the Swaziland College of Technology and the University of Swaziland. The latter grew out of cross-border cooperation and was established as a national institution only in 1982.
It currently has faculties of agriculture, commerce, education, health sciences, humanities, applied sciences, and social science. It is primarily an undergraduate facility, although it does offer postgraduate programs in agriculture, chemistry, education, and history too.