Will children go back to school?

HARARE - One prominent development scholar did ask the question — if education is the answer, then what is the problem.

As the first term begins, not all children will be able to continue with their education.

Some whose parents are base of stock will certainly pin their hopes on stampeding into the government assistance schemes or Beam and if they fail that will be the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end whichever way one looks at it.

In his 2014 budget, finance minister Patrick Chinamasa did allude to the fact that the country’s industrial base is now in deep sleep while the informal sector is a hive of activity.

Most children whose parents once worked in the now sleepy industries face an uncertain future as this might mean the end of their dreams in life.

But for orphaned and vulnerable children, the situation is quite complex to describe.

The most logical thing for me is to urge everyone to include them in your prayers for it is only the Almighty God who can provide for each of them according to their circumstances.

Even those working in the informal sector are feeling the pinch as the liquidity crunch is biting them.

Demand has shrunk to unprecedented levels as most of their clients are operating on shoe string budgets.
This festive season has once again demonstrated how resilient Zimbabweans can be as most celebrated the Christmas holidays in a joyous way despite having very little.

Indeed they refused to be trapped to yesterday — for if you are not happy today, you will think about it tomorrow and continue worrying.

Most parents had to forgo certain luxuries all in the name of saving the little they have for their children’s school fees.

Those with the resources are already planning to buy uniforms and books so that their children will have a good start.

Perhaps none of them have ever paused to think of the value of education that their children will get. If at all they had such time, they might have more worries than ever before.

Of course one of the basic functions of education is to mould responsible citizens and ensure national cohesion but more fundamentally, education should give confidence to children and make them survive in any environment especially in a more globalised world of today.

The biggest mistake in the transformation of education in Zimbabwe was to address it mainly from a racial point of view while overriding other factors.

While colonial education segregated against blacks by confining them to practical education like carpentry, building and agricultural promotion — practical education was not bad.

What was bad was to confine blacks into mainly blue collar jobs while whites were oriented to be bosses in white collar jobs.

What was needed was to undo the myth that blacks and whites do certain jobs which the other could not do.

The unbundling of this stereotype is the one that went into an overdrive to such an extent that all practical jobs have been looked down upon in a detrimental way.

Now the country finds itself in a dilemma where it has a young population with no life survival skills, without the right orientation and attitude needed to develop a vibrant economy.

There is no economy that has been developed by white collar mentality workers.

The few skills that are nurtured in the country are tapped by neighbouring countries who are now exporting cheap products which have crippled our own industries.

The education that a country offers must be informed by the economic realities in any country and what it wants to achieve.

Zimbabwe needs more skilled workers than managers. As you pay those huge sums of money, are you sure of what you are doing? Is that kind of education going to make your child survive in the future? Are you investing wisely?

Comments (2)


mashotopiyana - 2 January 2014

The Education Minister will need to take a lead on the situation not wait till openning day to start commenting on the CHAOS (he knows this will visit us without fail)awaiting our children on openning day..Roll back idiotic levies to 2012 levels not allow this madness by a mad cabal of thieving SDAs and unconcerned education officers approving these extractive and usurous levies..Everywhere the Minister's colleague in cabinet is cleaning up their act, what is he waiting for...Heaven forbid, he is not waiting for schools to open so that he can start pretending to be concerned when the effluent hits the street!

gutter poet - 3 January 2014

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