The Swaziland Government lied when it said there would be no financial cuts in education as a result of the economic crisis ripping the kingdom.
Now, it is revealed that money is so tight, pupils might be forced to take lessons under trees.
Majozi Sithole, the Swazi Finance Minister, said in November 2010 and has repeated since that health and education would not be affected by government-imposed spending cuts.
But, now it is revealed that the project to expand free primary education for all children is in jeopardy – because the government has run out of money.
As part of capital expenditure cuts the E31 million (US$4.4 million) needed to build teachers’ houses and classrooms is not there.
About 560 Primary schools across Swaziland need new classrooms to accommodate the pupils enrolling for the free education programme.
Pat Muir, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Education, revealed this last week. He told a primary school thanksgiving ceremony that parents deserved to be told the truth about what was going on.
The Swazi Observer newspaper reported him saying this should be done to avoid panic next year - when some pupils might be forced to take lessons under trees.