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EU challenges Swazi order to teach only Christianity in schools

The European Union (EU) has frowned upon a decision taken by the government of Swaziland to ban the teaching of all faiths save Christianity in primary schools.The EU is a major partner of the Ministry of Education and funds the Free Primary Education in the country, having spent $11.35 million on the programme since its implementation started in 2010.

EU Ambassador Nicola Bellomo said it was surprising that Swaziland could take such a major decision without consulting them, as the EU pays for all children of all religions attending first grade.

“In a country with the rule of law, we believe such an instruction would have to be formalised into some sort of legal basis,” he said in a media statement.

Bellomo said they will engage with the government in relation to their input into curriculum development for primary schools.

Swaziland’s Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini announced the ban of Islam, Baha’i Faith and all other religions in all public primary schools in November 2016, and insisted on the teaching of Christianity.

The justification given for this decision is that Swaziland is “a Christian country” and its children must be brought up based on Christianity.

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