Universal access to education tops agenda

The Government will continue to double efforts to lift educational standards in marginalised areas for the benefit of less-privileged communities so that they are at par with the rest of the country.

Acting President Dr Constantino Chiwenga said this when he officially opened the Riverview Primary School in Stoneridge, Harare South yesterday.

He said it was Government’s desire for all learners to get a fair and equal chance at making it big in life through the promotion of quality education as was the case with others all over the country.

The Acting President also appealed to those running private schools not to charge exorbitant school fees, but to consider the plight of the communities they were serving.

Acting President Chiwenga commended the Chirambasukwa family, the owners of the school, for making a huge contribution towards access to education through their investment in the school.

“Access to quality education for every Zimbabwean child is a right not a privilege of the few. I therefore urge all parents to play their part by ensuring that all children of school going age are enrolled to attend school from Early Childhood Education.

“Let us continue to transform our schools, so that we move with the times. To the teachers, remember it is your duty to ensure that you offer the right education that prepares pupils to access the tools of the new economic frontiers and develop fundamental values, and life-long skills,” he said.

“As we enjoy and celebrate the official opening of this private school, let us reflect on the need for our unfettered commitment to our responsibilities and our duty to our young learners.

“Government, through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is seized with the need to build more schools in new sprouting urban suburbs like Caledonia, Southlea Park, Ushewokunze and Cowdray Park among others, to reduce the distances that learners have to travel in search of such facilities.

“However, Government welcomes synergies and collaboration from the private sector in order to deliver quality service to the people of Zimbabwe.

“We are pleased to note that this school will benefit learners from Stoneridge and neighbouring communities and we therefore encourage the private sector to charge fees that are affordable to the targeted communities,” said the Acting President.

He implored learners to also make the most of the opportunity to get the education afforded by the Government, the private sector and their parents.

Zimbabwe had begun the review of the competence based curriculum after implementation of its first phase and was pleased that Riverview embarked on a number of projects which dovetailed with the new curriculum.

The Acting President implored school authorities to also align with the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) drive to identify scientists at a tender age.

He said the Government will donate computers to the school to assist in this drive.

“The Ministry has currently planned for the construction of junior science laboratories and provision of kits across all levels of schooling.

“Plans are underway by the Government, through collaboration with the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology to cover the gap in the provision of information technology gadgets, computers and materials. These were a cross cutting necessity in teaching and learning discipline.

“Allow me to commend the contribution by private players in giving access to education services to the people of Zimbabwe throughout the country. This is in line with the Second Republic’s thrust of improving the quality of our people through human capital development.

“I want to assure everyone here that the Government is making efforts to address issues of infrastructure in the country and continues to invite players from all facets to contribute to the development of the education system. Let us join hands and build the foundation of our children together,” said Acting President Chiwenga.

The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Torerayi Moyo also commended private players for taking part in the construction of schools, saying the Government had a deficit of more than 2 000 schools.

School head Mr Kwame Nkrumah Rushwaya said the school would offer classes from ECD A to Grade 7, with an average teacher to pupil ratio of 1:20.

Acting President Chiwenga also called for responsible behaviour during the Christmas and New Year festivities.

“Next week on Monday, it will be Christmas, after Christmas it will be New Year. Let us celebrate the holidays responsibly. If you decide to drink then sit down at home. Do not drink and drive.

“Let us enjoy responsibility and continue developing our country. Let us stay away from harmful practices,” he said.

Herald

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