The City of Manzini is littered with a number of schools – from pre-school to tertiary level. The norm is that children would begin their pre-school education at the age of around three (3) years. At the age of seven (7) they would proceed for primary education where they would do seven (7) class levels before proceeding to secondary level/junior certificate level (for three years) and thereafter undergo a two-year higher education programme.
Depending on their examination results, they would thereafter enroll at the tertiary institution of their choice. For many years, all schools in Swaziland have been under the direct control of central government.
However in recent years the City of Manzini has seen the emergence of privately owned schools. These schools also follow the national schools curriculum and, to a certain extent, central government monitors their operations.
Pre-schools usually begin their day at 8am and close at 12pm. The lower grades of primary education normally begin their day at 7:45am until 1pm while the higher primary levels commence at the same time and close at 2pm.
The secondary and higher education levels begin their day at 7:45am and end at around 4pm.
All schools operate from Monday to Friday. None of them is open on weekends and public holidays. The school calendar year allows two end-of-term breaks. The end-of-year break is quite longer – stretching from December to almost the end of January the following year.
Due to the HIV and AIDS pandemic, which also affects the City of Manzini, most schools have recorded growing numbers of orphaned and vulnerable children whose guardians do not afford to pay for their school fees. However, central government has taken the initiative to pay for these children’s school fees.
Furthermore, central government recently rolled out a free primary school education programme, although in phases. While the only university in Swaziland is based in neighbouring Matsapha, several tertiary institutions are available in Manzini. Most popular are the Nazarene Nursing College, Nazarene Teacher Training College, the William Pitcher Teacher Training College and the M.I.T.C (a vocational institution). All of these and others offer high quality education.