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    Government orders schools in Swaziland to teach only Christians


    The schools in Swaziland opened for their new academic year on Tuesday with the new government order to teach only Christians which was critically opposed by Muslims.

    Officials said that old school books were being replaced with new ones which only mention the Bible in it. Also, schools were required to submit a new list of qualified religious studies teachers ahead of the new term.

    Pat Muir, a top education ministry officer said that other religions won't be offered at primary and higher schools. He also said that the policy sought to avoid confusion among pupils.

    He said,  “At tertiary level they will be able to make a decision to learn about other religions,” he said.
    Some surveys put Swaziland’s Muslim population as high as 10 percent, but the US Department of State in 2015 put the figure at about two percent.
    Many Swazis combine Christianity with indigenous beliefs, and religious freedoms are written into the country’s 2005 constitution.
    The education ministry last week instructed all head teachers to ensure that the syllabus would not mention any religion other than Christianity, including Islam and Judaism.
    Sahid Matsebula, a Swazi-born Muslim who works for a mosque near the capital Mbabane, said the government’s policy could worsen religious friction in the southern African nation.
    “What plan does the government have in place for our children who are not Christian?” he told AFP.

    “They will be taught one thing at home and taught something else at school.”


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