Religious education in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) – from confessional to multi-faith, and back to confessional: a policy reversal analysis

Yonah Matemba, Boyie Dlamini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper examines the trajectory of Religious Education (RE) in the Kingdom of Eswatini (hereinafter, KoE), from confessional to multi-faith and to confessional once again, an issue that has not received attention in the discourse. In particular, it highlights the recent (2017) controversy concerning the discontinuation of multi-faith RE, banning other religions and reintroduction of a ‘missionary’ type confessional Christian RE, in a policy reversal not seen anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa. What has drawn attention to this sudden policy change (through government directive) is not only the concern expressed by critics but also how this development seems out of step with general trends in RE elsewhere on the continent, particularly in neighbouring countries. The paper analyses this development through the prism of ‘policy reversal’ as analytical framework. Broadly, the paper provides an initial full-length survey of RE in KoE, following the three stages in its pedagogical development, from confessionalism, to multi-faith pluralism and returning to confessionalism. In describing these developments, we also highlight key contextual factors such as religious demography and Christian dominance in social-cultural life and what the Constitution says about religion and education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSession XXII 2021 - Transition processes in the public sphere as context for religious and values education
Subtitle of host publicationISREV – International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2021
EventThe Twenty Second Session of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values - University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 25 Jul 202130 Jul 2021
Conference number: XXII
https://isrev.org.uk/the-2021-session/

Conference

ConferenceThe Twenty Second Session of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values
Abbreviated titleISREV Session XXII 2021
Country/TerritorySweden
CityGothenburg
Period25/07/2130/07/21
Internet address

Keywords

  • Kingdom of Eswatini
  • multi-faith RE
  • policy reversal
  • return to confessional RE

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Religious education in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) – from confessional to multi-faith, and back to confessional: a policy reversal analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this