Education in Swaziland
Biography of the Hon. Wilson M. Ntshangase
The Hon. Wilson Makhalempi Ntshangase was appointed Minister for Education and Training in 2008, being the elected Member of Parliament for the Shiselweni I Inkhundla constituency. He graduated with a Masters in Education (MA. EO) from the University of South Africa in 1995 and has over 20 years’ experience working as a head teacher in several high schools.
Joined Commonwealth: 1968
Population: 1,185,000 (2009)
GDP p.c. growth: 1.7% p.a. 1990-2009
UN HDI 2010: world ranking 121
Net primary enrolment: 82.9% (2007)
Net secondary enrolment: 28.6% (2008)
Gross tertiary enrolment: 4.4% (2006)
Adult literacy: 86.9% (2009)
Public spending on education was 7.8% of GDP in 2007. There are seven years of compulsory education starting at age six and five of secondary. Net enrolment ratios are 82.9% for primary (2007) and 28.6% for secondary (2008) with a gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined of 63.7% in 2008. The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 32:1 and for secondary 19:1 (2008). The school year starts in January.
The University of Swaziland offers degrees in law, commerce, agriculture, education, science and the humanities, as well as part-time courses in business studies. Swaziland College of Technology runs courses in engineering, building, education and business. The Vocational and Commercial Training Institute offers technical and business training. There is a national library and a mobile library service to remoter parts of the country. Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 93% (2009).
The government is introducing a new curriculum in the pre-vocational subjects of agriculture, business, home economics and technical studies, which is being piloted in 16 high schools throughout the country.