Nhlangano Agricultural Skills Training Center (NASTC) Tuition fees Structure

School of Appropriate Farm Technology

The School of Appropriate Farm Technology (SAFT) is a nonformal and vocational agriculture school that targets secondary/high school leavers and drop-outs who cannot proceed to formal post-secondary education for one reason or another. The aim of SAFT is to provide high school leavers with relevant vocational agricultural skills and experiences to enable them to increase agricultural production at home in their local communities, and also earn an income from sales of produce (Sibisi, 1981). The school leavers catered to by this School are those with little or no prospect of getting a job in the formal labor sector. This is a rapidly growing segment of the population of unemployed youth who may soon dominate the total population in numerical terms (Cousins, 1983).

Entrants to the School need a minimum of education in the sense that they are expected to have completed primary school (Grade VIII), at least. However, those responsible for admissions have stressed motivation toward farming as one major requirement; the enrollment of the School averages 20-25 students, the majority of whom are boys. The age range of students is 18-25 years. The School has a capacity to enroll 40 students. Although the applications may range from 100 to 200 and admission may approximate the full capacity of 40 students, after the pre-entry course of two weeks duration, students drop-out as they experience difficulty coping with the practical demands of the course.

Rural Education Centres

In pursuance of the policy on the improvement of the quality of life and the general standard of living of the rural people, the Government of Swaziland established eight Rural Education Centres in 1978. Aiming at improving the socio-economic status of the rural people in Swaziland, the rural Education Centres were established with the following specific objectives (Ministry of Education):·

 to provide formal schooling to rural youths, and non-formal instruction to adults and unemployed school leavers.

· to instruct in vocational education through training in appropriate skills which may lead to self-employment and self-reliance.

· to assess needs and initiate projects; to coordinate services, resources, and activities of Government and Non-Governmental Organisations involved in rural development.

· to serve as a community resource center where educational, economic and social activities may be developed and focused providing facilities that may be used for non-formal education purposes.

Seven of the Rural Education Centres (RECs) were built at secondary schools whereas the eighth was built at a primary (elementary) school. In practice, REC programmes have primarily served rural women, especially in training of skills for income generation. The direct beneficiaries, in the main, have been rural women, and also some men, and school leavers, who enter vocational training courses and participate in community projects (Ministry of Education, 1988).

Bosco Skills Centre

Bosco Skills Centre is a Youth Enterprise Scheme for Self-Employment with the goal of (a) providing suitable workshop space for the development of small businesses, and (b) offering suitable training in trades and business skills primarily for those neglected and forgotten and at risk young people who wish to be self-employed. The small business person (the experienced entrepreneur) joins the Skills Centre to operate and improve his/her business, and for the use of the Skills Centre’s Facilities, he/she makes a contribution by training a maximum of three young persons (trainees) for self-employment over a two year period. In addition to the training provided by the experienced entrepreneur, the trainee business person attends afternoon classes in basic Mathematics, English and Business management Skills. Mathematics and English are each taught two hours a week whereas, Business Management Skills is taught one hour a week by the Business Management Extension Programme (BMEP) (McDonnell, personal Interview).

The Skills Center has 60 small business trainees for its first group of intake who undergo vocational skills training under 21 experienced entrepreneurs. The trainees, who must be 18 years upon admission, are given three months to decide whether this kind of vocational training is suitable for them, and during this period they also work in close cooperation with the Centre’s Training Coordinator. The admission process entails interviews conducted by the experienced entrepreneurs who, select three young trainee business persons to train. Once admitted, the trainee receives E10.00 (about US$3.30) a week to cover off-pocket expenses drawn from the trainees fund to which the experienced entrepreneur, for operating his/her own business at the Center, has made a contribution as part of the agreement to use the Skills Centre workshop and facilities. The fee for one year is E150.00 (about US$50.00) payable in three installments of E.50.00 (US$16.66) by the trainee business person (McDonnell, 1993).

The Skills Centre has eight workshops, and offers vocational skill training for self-employment in the following areas: Motor mechanics, Auto electrical, Panel beating and spray painting, Upholstery, Carpentry, Welding/metal work, Plumbing, Dressmaking and tailoring, Sewing, Pottery, Refrigeration repair, Radio and T.V. repair, Printing, Hairdressing.

Upon joining the Skills Centre the experienced entrepreneur takes on the following financial commitments: Contribution to the cost of electricity, Contribution to the cost of water, Contribution to the salary of the show/display room manager, Contribution to a trainee fund, Payment for telephone use, Payment for transport use.

Currently each experienced entrepreneur makes an agreed contribution of E165.00 (about US$55.00) a month to cover the above costs. The amount to be paid for the above costs is established by the Executive of the Skills Centre Management Committee which reports to the Bosco Center Board, the top policy making body.