Embrace education, President urges children

EDUCATION, through science and technology, is a tool of national development and economic growth that all children should embrace in line with the country’s economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1, President Mnangagwa has said.

Addressing a Children’s Party here ahead of today’s 44th National Independence Day commemorations, President Mnangagwa said Government, through NDS1, had availed education that provides a bright future.

The children were drawn from all the country’s 10 provinces and gathered for the traditional Children’s Party, hosted by the Head of State and Government.

“The National Development Strategy 1 recognises the role of education towards lifting many people out of poverty into prosperity,” said the President.

“Education is also a tool to develop skilled workers for the growth of our nation. Government has made a commitment to provide education that paves the way for a brighter future for all of you.

“Our education system is focusing on science, technology and innovation, starting from Early Childhood Development.”

President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic was transforming and establishing science laboratories at primary and secondary schools. The move would promote the learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“In addition, we are rolling out mobile science laboratories and equipment for our schools, with centres for Information Communication Technologies,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said it was not good enough for one to speak fluent English when that person is unable to produce goods and services that help to push communities and the country forward. “During our time, when we used to go to school, we would get standing ovations for being able to speak in English.

“Now if you just speak English we look aside. We want the product, the service of your education, not the skill in speaking the Queen’s language. Developed countries did not do (develop) so by memorising (William) Shakespeare. They were developed by science and technology,” said President Mnangagwa.

Turning to safety in schools, the President said there should be no more bullying and abuse of drugs and substances in schools.

“In line with the global safe to learn commitments, comprehensive programmes are in place to make sure that all our learning institutions remain safe for both pupils and staff. These include safeguards for early reporting and response to all cases of bullying and the abuse of harmful drugs and substances. No more bullying in schools. Say no to bullying.

“I call upon school authorities to diligently carry out their duties and create safe and healthy spaces for our children. Similarly, I encourage you, our young people, to be responsible at your schools, homes and within the community in general.

“You must always listen and accept the guidance of your parents, teachers and those senior to you. Engaging in harmful activities such as drug and substance abuse as well as the irresponsible use of ICTs, destroys the moral fabric of our country,” said President Mnangagwa.

He urged young people to use social media, content creation and ICTs for greater good, focusing on building a bright future riding on education as a stepping stone.

“Going forward, our national strategies will continue to focus on educating pupils and fostering a positive school environment as well as providing psycho-social support to have well-rounded children in all our communities,” the President said.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was directed to work closely with all stakeholders for the benefit of children.

President Mnangagwa said children should be taught from an early age to say no to peer pressure, harmful behaviours such as substance abuse, as well as bullying.

“To you, our children, I encourage you to seek help and communicate the challenges you face, be it at school or at home.

“In the same vein, parents and guardians are reminded of the importance of keeping open lines of communication with your children,” he said.

Today’s Independence Day commemorations are being held under the theme, “Zim @44: Unity, Peace and Development towards Vision 2030”.

The celebrations are being held in Manicaland Province in line with the Second Republic’s thrust of devolution and decentralisation which dovetails with the mantra of leaving no one and no place behind.

President Mnangagwa said the theme of this year’s Independence anniversary means the nation should embrace the values of liberation by always loving and respecting one another.

“Your language, culture and traditions might be different but you are all Zimbabweans. You are great, great grandchildren of Munhumutapa, we are a united people.

“We fought for our independence and freedom from colonial rule, now we are a free people. You, our children must always be proud of being Zimbabwean, our rich history and national identity.

“As you grow older, keep in mind that you must always play your part in building and developing our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe, brick by brick and stone upon stone. Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inonamatigwa nevene vayo/ Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo.”

The President encouraged young boys and girls to grow up as patriotic and disciplined people, able to transform Zimbabwe and modernise the country.

“I want you to also grow up and become people who are aware of the wealth of our country, land, minerals, and environment.

“These resources must always be used to develop our communities and the country as a whole. Your duty is to defend and protect this wealth,” he said.

The President said long lasting development will only be achieved when people live peacefully, respect each other as these are the values that protect the Independence and freedom the country is celebrating.

“I am aware that our Heritage-Based school curriculum includes the lessons on Hunhu/Ubuntu, to help shape good character. You must take these lessons and other values which you are taught by elders very seriously.

“Realising good grades in school and working hard in whatever jobs or businesses you choose is what will develop our country. Others who are gifted in the fields of sports, arts and culture should also practise hard and excel in these areas to be able to make a living and also make our nation proud,” said President Mnangagwa.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Torerayi Moyo, commended President Mnangagwa’s visionary leadership for transforming the education sector.

“Your tradition of having the Children’s Party with child delegates is of great significance to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

“The young delegates have a rare, unique and special opportunity to interact with the First Family. Your own life is a great inspiration to them and has great lessons for them to learn,” said Minister Moyo.

The event was attended by First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, Cabinet Ministers, legislators and other senior officials.

Chronicle

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