Youth body hits out at Swazi govt

THE Swaziland Youth Congress is demanding that the government fulfil its promise to provide free basic primary education.

THE Swaziland Youth Congress is demanding that the government fulfil its promise to provide free basic primary education.

Swayoco's general secretary Thabile Zwane said the country's constitution had promised this to parents by this year.

The constitution guaranteed free primary education in public schools three years after it came into effect in July 2005.

"The government of Swaziland has deliberately ignored the implementation of this crucial constitutional obligation," she said.

The youth congress was "deeply saddened by the continuous failure to respond to the challenges faced by the people and the regime's refusal to comply with its own constitution".

Zwane said the government's neglect of pupils proved the youth group's position of many years that any constitution making process "which was not all-inclusive would only serve to preserve the interests of a small segment of our people".

"It is clear to all that the Swazi government does not want to invest in education.

"Its priorities are on things like spending millions on the king's birthday celebrations, buying exclusive cars for the royal family, spending hundreds of thousands for [deposed Madagascan president] Ravalomanana's stay in the kingdom and buying arms, which are not in the best interest of Swazis," she said.

"All this happens against a background that is life-threatening - a deteriorating public healthcare system, an educational crisis, an ever-escalating unemployment rate, HIV-Aids, poverty and hunger," Zwane added.

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