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Swaziland John Carmichael Minister for Education Senator John Philip Carmichael was born in 1947. He studied Electrical Engineering and Business Administration. Mr. Carmichael has been a member of parliament in the House of Senate since 1993. He has held different ministerial posts since 1993. He has been Minister for Housing & Urban Development (1993-1998), Minister for Finance (1998-February 2001), and Minister for Education (February 2001 to date). As a cabinet minister in the different portfolios, he has represented the country in a number of national, regional and international meetings. In recognition of the good and commendable work he has done for the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Councillor of the Royal Order of Sobhuza Award in 1998 was conferred upon him. Citizen education Our societies are facing many challenges from all fronts. These range from social conflict, to social instability and disintegration, political instability and outright wars. The reasons for this state of affairs range from a decline and tension between quality civic, cultural, moral and formal education respectively. The tension appears to emanate from the unrelatedness of the formal school education and civic, cultural and moral education. Restructuring the curriculum such that it equips pupils with skills that are related to societal needs; life skills, could be an answer. In Swaziland this has seen the introduction of prevocational education in the secondary schools. The aim of the programme is to equip the pupils with entrepreneurship skills that will enable them to start their own self-help programmes in their communities. By encouraging pupils to interact with civil society, they are better placed to identify the needs of their society. Even local industry is encouraged to be part of this training that puts the pupils in the centre of development. Today we live in a global village. Culture, curriculum and education are mutually inclusive concepts. We cannot educate without making reference to culture and curriculum. Culture is conceived of as everything that characterises a society and includes everything that is man-made such as language, technological artefacts, skills, knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, attitudes, ideas, behaviours, laws, traditions, customs and values (Lawton, 1975; Mair, 1972; Maquet, 1972) Culture provides a common base of knowledge, values and norms for action that individuals within a given social context grow into and regard as their natural way of life. Language and education are central to its identity and survival. Let us therefore strive for education to foster knowledge of, and, respect of our communities and other cultures to encourage living together in PEACE and HARMONY!
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