Created to counter the lack of a formal arts curriculum in eSwatini’s public schools, the MTN Bushfire High Schools’ Festival supported by MTN Bushfire, and the MTN Bushfire Primary Schools’ Festival supported by MTN Bushfire and the European Union, engage students from across the country in a week of interactive arts learning that precedes the main festival. The Schools’ Festivals combine the arts with social responsibility themes, to deliver a week of facilitator-led teacher and student workshops and performances.
Over 1500 students and teachers take part in the Schools Festival annually, and are selected via an open call application process conducted in the months leading up to the festival week. Facilitators are vetted and selected by the Schools’ Festival year-round committee, consisting of stakeholders, festival crew and industry practitioners.
As a direct result of the Schools Festival initiatives, the Kingdom of eSwatini’s Ministry of Education has engaged Bushfire and other industry stakeholders to assist in developing an arts curriculum in public schools as of 2017. The Festival along with the Ministry and industry stakeholders have made significant strides in 2018 towards finalizing the curriculum.