Ubun­thu/hunhu, crit­i­cal part of cur­ricu­lum

Is school only about pass­ing ex­am­i­na­tions and qual­i­fy­ing to pro­ceed to the next grade, and ul­ti­mately to col­lege or univer­sity? What about grow­ing in stature and in-deed? What about grow­ing up in dis­ci­pline and re­spon­si­bil­ity?

The Manica Post - - Education/entertainment - Mor­ris Mtisi Post Cor­re­spon­dent

THE new cur­ricu­lum an­swers the above ques­tions with ease, but may be with so much ease that the crit­i­cal­ness of ubun­thu is ul­ti­mately re­duced to in­signif­i­cant. While teach­ers, par­ents and guardians…and learn­ers, vis­i­bly com­mit them­selves to achieve­ment of grade As and Bs, and put ev­ery ef­fort into mak­ing the grades pos­si­ble, the con­veyor belt churns out thieves, drug-tak­ers, un­pa­tri­otic young cit­i­zens and stu­dent pros­ti­tutes and all sorts of moral de­viants in the same process. Such an ed­u­ca­tion is dead.

An ed­u­ca­tion that spe­cial­izes in pre­par­ing stu­dents who pass learn­ing-area ex­am­i­na­tions but fail the be­hav­iour ex­am­i­na­tion is a waste of time, money and other re­sources.

While the up­dated cur­ricu­lum men­tions ubun­thu or hunhu, does it give the idea a real face in the con­text of se­ri­ous­ness of pur­pose? Does it give the idea a model to work around? What are the ac­tiv­i­ties sug­gested to foster ubun­thu or hunhu in chil­dren and young adults who go to school? Does the cur­ricu­lum cleanly stip­u­late these? My an­swer is NO! What is yours?

The Gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing the newlook Mav­ima ‘dis­pen­sa­tion’ is busy work­ing on amend­ments and ad­just­ments to do with con­tent and im­ple­men­ta­tion. It is busy work­ing out best prac­tices to make the best out of what is taught and learnt. That is per­fect.

It has re­cently quickly sug­gested a pro­gramme to en­sure that col­lege and univer­sity exit pro­files are fit for eco­nomic pur­pose; grad­u­ates who mean­ing­fully oc­cupy po­si­tions in com­merce and in­dus­try. Whether Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to call it STEM or give it a new name fol­low­ing the po­lit­i­cally bad blood be­tween it and its pro­tag­o­nist, Jonathan ‘Jona’ Moyo’s evap­o­ra­tion in the whirl­wind of change in the coun­try, its pur­pose re­mains the same and crit­i­cally im­por­tant for na­tional de­vel­op­ment. That is the way to go.

It will not mat­ter whether the cat is black or white, so long as it catches the mice. It seems with the com­ing into of­fice of the care­ful, steady and cal­cu­lat­ing Mav­ima, the up­dated cur­ricu­lum is headed for a gen­uine re­cov­ery-poll and path from hated to tol­er­ated and ul­ti­mately to be­ing to­tally ac­cepted.

But the new Min­is­ter of Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion and his coun­ter­part in the Ter­tiary and Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, Pro­fes­sor Mur­wira, both need to se­ri­ously push for a re­viewed cur­ricu­lum which fosters ubun­thu /hunhu in our chil­dren at what­ever level of their ed­u­ca­tion.

The be­hav­iour, moral con­duct, of this ed­u­ca­tion’s exit pro­files needs to de­ter­mine the hon­our and in­tegrity of the na­tion through the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of its ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

Why have most of our civil ser­vants been em­broiled in cor­rup­tion and fraud in the ex­e­cu­tion of their du­ties? Why have some of our Gov­ern­ment se­nior of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Cabi­net min­is­ters been in­volved in shame­ful and gross abuses of of­fice and in some cases day­light theft?

Imag­ine a highly ed­u­cated of­fi­cial of the Gov­ern­ment al­legedly hoard­ing mil­lions of cash while or­di­nary man and woman in the street in­clud­ing old men and women sleep on the pave­ments of banks to with­draw a pal­try fifty dol­lars of their hard-earned money?

A for­mer Cabi­net min­is­ter al­legedly hoards med­i­cal drugs in­tended for poor peo­ple, wheel-chairs, seed-maize and other agri­cul­tural in­puts and mech­a­ni­sa­tion equip­ment that were meant for peas­ant com­mu­ni­ties! If such peo­ple went through school, pri­mary and sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion and ul­ti­mately col­lege and or univer­sity, there can only be some­thing grossly miss­ing in that ed­u­ca­tion.

If an ed­u­ca­tion pro­duces the wrong exit pro­files, it hands over to Gov­ern­ment and so­ci­ety ex­ec­u­tive thieves, crooks, liars, pros­ti­tutes and in­com­pe­tent lead­ers and man­agers of peo­ple’s lives.

It pro­duces na­tion de­stroy­ers, not na­tion builders. It pro­duces loot­ers of wealth who are cor­rupt through and through; dan­ger­ous lead­ers who cheat and lie and cover up for their crimes in­stead of ad­mit and con­fess them and ask for for­give­ness.

When the na­tion, any na­tion, stinks with cor­rup­tion and un­demo­cratic treat­ment of the peo­ple, in­tim­i­dat­ing them in­stead of pro­tect­ing them, threat­en­ing them in­stead of calm­ing and com­fort­ing them, forc­ing them in­stead of ed­u­cat­ing and per­suad­ing them, it is not pol­i­tics that is wrong; it is ed­u­ca­tion. It is ed­u­ca­tion that is illplanned and ill-or­gan­ised.

When a na­tion strug­gles to con­vince cit­i­zens to vote in an elec­tion, to a point of al­most lit­er­ally forc­ing them to regis­ter to vote, that is a re­flec­tion of the cal­iber of the elec­torate. They have no idea of the crit­i­cal im­por­tance of a vote and what it means to cast a vote.

Some­one once said: “The re­sults of any elec­tion al­ways re­flect the cal­iber of its elec­torate?” True or False? I leave that to you to de­cide.

But what I want to say to Prof Mav­ima and other di­rec­tors of ed­u­ca­tion is, “Ed­u­ca­tion drives economies and gov­ern­ments.” There­fore what it adds up to is sim­ple.

A wrong ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem feeds gov­ern­ment and so­ci­ety with wrong peo­ple who are cor­rupt, who are bru­tal, who are dic­ta­to­rial, who lie, who are not hon­est, peo­ple who have no hon­our or in­tegrity; peo­ple who steal from the gov­ern­ment that em­ployed them and from the peo­ple whose hopes and lives they are sup­posed to up­lift.

A wrong ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem pro­duces politi­cians who frighten the peo­ple who voted them into power; politi­cians who are cor­rupt; politi­cians who in­di­cate they are turn­ing right…then they turn to the left; politi­cians who thrive on hate and in­tol­er­ance; politi­cians who busy them­selves with squab­bling and fight­ing amongst them­selves in­stead of nur­tur­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment; peo­ple who make noise ev­ery day and fight ev­ery day and only wake up when what­ever they have been fight­ing for and about has dis­ap­peared.

A wrong ed­u­ca­tion pro­duces mar­ried cou­ples that cheat each other, are un­faith­ful to each other and ruin their own lives with their own cheap­ness of mind and heart. Churches yes, have a role to play. But it is the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that must in­cul­cate moral val­ues in the minds and hearts of its clients.

A wrong ed­u­ca­tion pro­duces teach­ers who cheat ex­am­in­ers in ex­am­i­na­tions, leak ex­am­i­na­tion pa­pers and make the whole teach­ing and learn­ing process a game of tricks.

It places bad school heads in good schools where they cheat ev­ery rule and reg­u­la­tion; where they sell places for poor par­ents and make money for them­selves through all sorts of cor­rupt ways.

And those who are sup­posed to root this rot out pre­tend they do not know. In many schools cor­rup­tion grows ev­ery day and no one speaks out, as if these are empty gos­sip sto­ries that do not hap­pen. Peo­ple who are sup­posed to see all this rot are blind. And all who are sup­posed to hear these true sto­ries are deaf. The ones who ought to talk are dumb. Can there be worse cor­rup­tion?

A wrong ed­u­ca­tion pro­duces po­lice­men who end up steal­ing from peo­ple in­clud­ing dead ones in a road ac­ci­dent; po­lice­men who for­get they are keep­ers of law and or­der but be­come loot­ers and bribe-mon­gers in broad day­light.

A wrong ed­u­ca­tion pro­duces pub­lic trans­port driv­ers who think that pas­sen­gers are bag­gage and lug­gage with no rights and feel­ings or a con­science. They drink and drive, speed and put ev­ery pas­sen­ger in dan­ger. The bus driv­ers and their con­duc­tors lit­er­ally abuse the pas­sen­gers with their mus­cles and foul lan­guage! God for­bid!

I can go on un­til to­mor­row.

The point has been made, I hope. It is not the Sciences or Lan­guages or Com­mer­cials that mat­ter in a class­room. It is the char­ac­ter that is built around the teach­ing and learn­ing that makes ed­u­ca­tion sen­si­ble. Ed­u­ca­tion with­out se­ri­ous em­pha­sis on ubun­thu/ hunhu is dead.

Good ed­u­ca­tion, any­where in the world, teaches and pro­duces peo­ple, not greedy, self­ish, heart­less and vi­o­lent wild an­i­mals. Zim­bab­wean peo­ple need and de­serve a new ed­u­ca­tion which cre­ates na­tion builders and devel­op­ers; not na­tion wreck­ers and loot­ers!

There can and may never be a bet­ter time to turn a new leaf and build a new na­tion than now when brave wise­men and women re­al­ized Zim­babwe was quickly go­ing back to the stone-age in the hands of a stub­born, un-lis­ten­ing, Robert Mu­gabe and his in­ter­est­ing wife.

There can never be a bet­ter time than now when a new trans­for­ma­tive dis­pen­sa­tion is vis­i­bly ready and hands-on to do the best for Zim­babwe. May it be so even in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor!

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