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Western Schooling and Traditional Society in Swaziland

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ABSTRACT This study analyses the actual and perceived significance of schooling on the lives of rural people in Swaziland. It compares and contrasts the Swazi public's attitudes towards and participation in Western education during the colonial period with the present day. Through interviews with Swazi parents, students and teachers, the study finds that, as during the colonial period, parents feel alienated from the school as an institution. As today's Ministry of Education strives to incorporate a stronger technical aspect to the school curriculum, parents view school as a place primarily for academics. These attitudes are directly related to their keen awareness of the strong correlation between education and modern sector employment. This is particularly notable because now, in contrast to the colonial period, all parents strongly desire a formal education for their children and have high professional aspirations for them.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1997

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