YOUTH ALERT 17 SEPTEMBER 2010

Youths Called Upon to take part in the constitution outreach meetings in Bulawayo this weekend.- COPAC will be conducting its outreach meetings in Bulawayo Province from the 18th to the 21st of September 2010. NYDT calls upon all young people and all Bulawayo residents in general to take part in these meetings in order to voice their requirements for a new constitution for Zimbabwe.
NYDT together with other civic society groups in Matabeleland under the banner of the Matabeleland Civic Society Consortium have been holding community meetings and road shows to equip residents with information on the key issues that will be raised and how they should expect them to be phrased or brought up.
NYDT therefore calls on all Zimbabweans to make use of this rare occasion to shape our future. Make your voice count in the new constitution. “KHULUMA MTHWAKAZI”

HIV/AIDS alternative solutions project to be launched in Beitbridge this Saturday– The HIV/AIDS alternative solutions is an initiative of NYDT which seeks to meet youths from the Matabeleland South province to discuss and come up with new strategies that can be employed to curb the HI Virus prevalence, especially among their peers.

The initiative is premised on the need for youths in the project areas and indeed across Zimbabwe to be in full control of efforts to ensure an AIDS Free generation.

Young people will be engaged in youth Theatre, HIV/AIDS  Indabas  and High Schools Debate.
Commitment to eradicating HIV shall be reflected through the erection of a Wall of Hope in remembrance and as a pledge to continue the fight . Since young people from the project areas are not reached by the conventional main stream media, this will be a platform to learn and exchange ideas on the untried methods of halting the HIV prevalence rate in their areas.

The Event details are as follows
LOCATION: BEITBRIDGE
EVENT 1: STREET  THEATRE
WHERE: TERMINUS AND MARKET PLACE
TIME: 1400HRS
EVENT 2: MOBILE OUTDOOR CINEMA
TIME:1700HRS
ADMISSION FREE!!! BRING A FRIEND
.
“AN HIV/AIDS FREE GENERATION BEGINS WITH ME”

Teachers demoralised and education disrupted by government edict banning unqualified teachers IRIN – NYDT notes with great concern the sudden and seemingly arbitrary decision to ban untrained teachers from actively participating in the education sector. This decision comes at a time when the sector is facing a lot of challenges in terms of dedicated professionals and material resources.

It is known that temporary teachers have been the back bone of the sector since time immemorial. They have stood in for trained teachers at times when the latter were unable to take up their duties. Some have even worked in the field longer than trained teachers some of whom have abandoned the profession for more attractive trades or to work in other countries.

NYDT’s concern also stems from the fact that most temporary teachers are school leavers, young people willing to serve their communities while waiting to get into tertiary institutions. These teaching positions have been a lifeline for many youths and even their families. Government’s disregard is likely to affect even more students that are preparing to sit for their exams at the end of this term.

According to international news agency IRIN the government directive forbidding unqualified teachers – estimated to comprise as much as 60 percent of the staff compliment at rural schools – is causing severe disruptions to education.

“It is surprising that the government has chosen to stop temporary teachers from resuming duty this [third] term, when it is well known that they form the bulk of teaching staff in rural areas,” said Janet Chikawa, a teacher at a secondary school in Seke district, about 50 km south of the capital, Harare. Read More on ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2010/sep/15/zimbabwe-teacher-ban ).

NYDT calls on government to reverse its current decision and consult stakeholders on a move more inclusive and beneficial to all.
Ministry of Education Reverses decision to give student mothers maternity leave– Once again the Ministry of education has displayed its disregard for students’ welfare and future. This emanates from the ministry’s announcement that it will after all be expelling school students who fall pregnant when still pursuing their studies.
This comes barely a week after the ministry sent out circulars and was reported in the media as having scrapped the rule to permanently expel student mothers from formal schools. Instead they were to get 3months maternity leave with their partners expected to also go on paternity leave in order to fulfil their fatherly roles from the birth of the child.
While this rule was received with mixed feelings from different sectors in the society, its long term effects presented a very positive end especially for young mothers who would have fallen prey to the whims of their male counterparts who usually did not receive any punishment for the misdemeanour.
Again, the reversal of the week old rule means young women with potential are subjected to suffer the sins of their immature choices for the rest of their lives while their partners in the offence are free to go back into formal schooling a year after the offence.
This rule is discriminatory and goes against all the steps taken towards creating an environment which is conducive for the equal nurturing of both boys and girls to pursue their dreams in an equally competitive environment which offers equal opportunities to all. Not only will it increase illiteracy levels in our country, it will also pave way for poverty and an increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence especially amongst young women and their children as research has shown that less educated mothers are more prone to contracting the VIRUS than their better educated peers as such this also puts their children at risk.
It is the view of NYDT that instead of behaving incoherently, introducing a rule one time and then withdrawing it the next, the ministry should have sat down with parents, teachers, students, SDCs and other stakeholders to find a suitable way forward. The government needs to go back to the drawing board to devise a strategy of solving this problem without depriving other children of their only shot at an education.

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