NYDT Youth Alert 07 July 2010

Hundreds of Thousands Fail to Register for Exams – NYDT notes with sadness that more than a hundred thousand students have failed to sit their O’level and A’level examinations due to the small period within which parents were expected to have raised the exorbitant examination fees. Despite an outcry and pleas from parents for government to extend the registration period, the Ministry of Education went ahead and closed the exercise leaving thousands in the bleak. It is the first time in the history of Zimbabwe’s education system that so many children with the desire to write have failed to do so simply because of money.
State run paper Sunday News reported this week that government owed the Examination board more that $5million dollars in unpaid examination fees. The question is what then are government’s priorities when it comes to education. First they cannot pay teachers a decent wage, secondly they cannot provide the basic needs for all school children, now it is failing to pay the examination board. What investment is our government making into education? Read more about this issue here

It is indeed unfortunate that Zimbabwe is not on course with Millennium Development Goals number two and three which aim to offer basic education universally as well as promote gender equality by year 2010. Zimbabwe’s education system, once the beacon of Africa, is on the retrogressive path.

Minister Coltart to push for Free Education for all in new constitution – NYDT notes with welcomed relief that there is at least someone in Government who realises that free basic education is a necessity in Zimbabwe otherwise we will have a generation of youths who cannot read or write properly. The Chronicle of Thursday the 8th reports that Minister Coltart will be lobbying for free education in the new constitution. He was quoted as saying:

Free education to all children should be made a constitutional right in line with the International Convention of the Children’s Rights. It states that every child should get compulsory and free education and as a ministry, we feel this should be enshrined in the constitution that we are working on. Constitutional rights apply equally to children and adults and we are saying children should also be granted freedom of expression, access to information and other rights just like adults. We need to ensure that our children are not exposed to pornographic material, but should be afforded a conducive learning environment to enhance their academic growth.

We hope that this statement is not just for mileage just like the first government of Zimbabwe promised free education for all by year 2000 but failed to deliver. Let this not just fade away into the history of unfulfilled promised by making free basic education for all a right guaranteed by the constitution.

One Goal Campaign: Education for All – The 2010 soccer world cup is indeed going to leave a lasting mark if the One Goal Campaign being championed by President Jacob Zuma is anything to go by. It is NYDT’s hope that our leaders will support Mr Zuma in his quest to reduce the back log of Africa’s educated by raising funds for resources to equip African schools and ensure education for all children free of charge by 2015 as pledged in the MDGs. 1GOAL is a campaign seizing the power of football to ensure that education for all is a lasting impact of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The campaign is meant to make education a reality for the millions of boys and girls who remain out of school. Zuma is expected to address heads of state at an Education Summit to be held in South Africa from the 11th of July. The 1GOAL Ambassadors called on leaders to support South African President Jacob Zuma’s Education Summit. Heads of State have been invited to the summit which will be held in Pretoria where commitments for further funding to heads of state or their representatives will be asked to pledge their support for the Education for All agenda.

Children’s Participation In the Constitution lacking – Youth Organisations NYDT and the Youth Agenda have expressed concern about the lack of adequate and proper representation of children in the new constitution making process. This came out at a recently held workshop on children’s rights in the Matabeleland North provincial capital, Lupane, where students from Mabhikwa and Fatima High schools were appraised on the issues of children’s rights and protections. According to the workshop facilitators, it was clear from the list of thematic areas listed for the constitution that children’s issues were being generally covered under women’s and youth issues but not as a specific aspect in themselves. There is a need for children to be explicitly represented in the process to ensure that their rights are not infringed upon in the future.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sibangilizwe Thwala on July 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Children are not accorded the impotence they deserve in Zimbabwe. If the so called leaders can smile to their homes when headlines read that thousands fail to register for exams what is that? In fact, when a father/mother leaves home for work they say we are going to fend for our children,what do the Zimbabwean leaders say they are going when they are writing a new constitution and forget that that document spells how their children will be governed until they die. A nation that disregards its children-prepares itself for a dull future.

    Reply

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