Director of Education in Swaziland praises fraudulent claims of Swazi educational excellence

Director of Education in Swaziland, Sibongile Dlamini, warned readers of the Times of Swaziland on Friday that writers “need to be careful of plagiarism and fraudulent publication.” She then went on to claim, without any apparent hint of irony, that she was pleased to read an article in the Times of Swaziland praising the country’s education system as one of the best in the world. “It was surprising because over the years, we have had people criticising the education system, saying it was deteriorating.”

Swaziland is ranked 140th in the world according to the UNDP HDI Education Index and according to a Working Paper from the World Bank called The Education System in Swaziland, “key weaknesses pertain to low access uneven and inequitable quality, acute inequalities, resource inefficiency, poor relevance and weak strategic direction and delivery capacity.”

According to a report by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, “clear consequences of the lack of free schooling until now are the relatively high level of youth and adult illiteracy in Swaziland, the low mean level of schooling among the population, and the large number of out-of school children of primary school age.”

Sibongile Mtshali-Dlamini has a PhD from Oklahoma State University in Philosophy in Education. She has also worked as a senior inspector of schools in Swaziland and as a secondary school teacher.

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