In­dus­tri­al­ist slams school fees ex­clu­sion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/feature - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu Plumtree Cor­re­spon­dent

THE Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion has been urged to en­force its pol­icy that pro­hibits schools author­i­ties from chas­ing away pupils for non- pay­ment of school fees.

Speak­ing at the Mata­bele­land South Provin­cial Merit awards cer­e­mony at Usher In­sti­tute in Bulil­ima on Fri­day, Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries pres­i­dent Mr Bu­sisa Moyo said some chil­dren were be­ing de­prived of their con­sti­tu­tional right to ed­u­ca­tion.

The Min­istry has in the past warned schools against send­ing pupils home for non-pay­ment of fees but school author­i­ties re­main de­fi­ant.

“Ed­u­ca­tion is a ba­sic right for every Zim­bab­wean child. Gov­ern­ment pol­icy on fees is there­fore meant to en­sure learn­ers at­tend school with­out dis­rup­tion. Those par­ents with ar­rears have to be dealt with by the law in­stead of pun­ish­ing in­no­cent chil­dren,” said Mr Moyo

He said the Science and Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing, Arts and Math­e­mat­ics (STEAM) ini­tia­tive was key to re­viv­ing the coun­try’s in­dus­try which was fast dwin­dling.

He said the coun­try needs skilled grad­u­ates to make in­dus­try pro­duc­tive once again.

‘’We are not do­ing any jus­tice if uni­ver­si­ties churn out un­skilled grad­u­ates. As we speak a num­ber of grad­u­ates are un­em­ployed.

‘’The Min­istry of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion has in­tro­duced a new cur­ricu­lum which em­pha­sises on STEAM sub­jects. This is the ap­pro­pri­ate ini­tia­tive to en­sure that grad­u­ates be­come pro­duc­tive,’’ he said.

Mr Moyo urged schools to em­brace the STEAM ini­tia­tive to en­sure that pupils are not short- changed.

He said there was a need for the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem to be up­graded to meet global ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards.

Mr Moyo said pupils must not use their back­ground as an ex­cuse for fail­ure.

“Your at­ti­tude to­wards learn­ing will de­ter­mine your fu­ture. Tal­ent is un­locked through self ap­pli­ca­tion and your teach­ers can only take you to a cer­tain point and you have to play your part. Go an ex­tra mile and don’t be con­tent with av­er­age per­for­mance,’’ he said.

Speak­ing at the same event, Mata­bele­land South Provin­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Di­rec­tor, Mrs Tu­misang Tha­bela said they had com­bined the STEAM and merit awards to cel­e­brate pupils’ in­no­va­tions and achieve­ments.

She said this year’s theme was Em­brac­ing the new cur­ricu­lum through STEAM.

She said the Min­istry had in­tro­duced Arts a fifth com­po­nent to the STEM acro­nym to make the new acro­nym STEAM.—@DubeMatutu.

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