DFID res­cues ru­ral pupils

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Tal­ent Chimu­tam­bgi and Nyasha Mlambo

THE United King­dom’s De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (DFID) has do­nated 3 000 bi­cy­cles as part of ef­forts to de­liver qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion to marginalised chil­dren in ru­ral areas by re­duc­ing the time they spend trav­el­ling to school.

The launch was held un­der the Zim­babwe Girls Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion (ZGSE) pro­gramme.

The do­na­tion was chan­nelled through the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion in part­ner­ship with Cam­paign for Fe­male Ed­u­ca­tion (CAMFED) yesterday in Harare, and the bi­cy­cles will be dis­trib­uted to 29 dis­tricts in Zim­babwe in order to sup­port vul­ner­a­ble stu­dents.

Speak­ing dur­ing the launch, the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion Mrs Tu­misang Tha­bela said the pro­gramme would go a long way in ful­fill­ing the obli­ga­tions of Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal num­ber 4 and 2030 Ed­u­ca­tion De­vel­op­ment Agenda.

“It is in this con­text that em­pha­sis to eq­ui­table ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion should be given space in ful­fil­ment of the obli­ga­tions of SDG4 and the 2030 Ed­u­ca­tion De­vel­op­ment Agenda, as well as the gov­ern­ment of Zim­babwe’s cur­rent prin­ci­ples on mo­bil­is­ing re­sources to sup­port gov­ern­ment pro­grammes in line with the Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme,” she said.

Mrs Tha­bela said all cit­i­zens were en­ti­tled to the right to ba­sic State­funded ed­u­ca­tion in line with the pro­vi­sions of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Zim­babwe.

“Sec­tion 75, sub-sec­tion (1) of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Zim­babwe Amend­ment (No.20) Act 2013, ‘Ev­ery cit­i­zen and per­ma­nent res­i­dent of Zim­babwe has a right to a ba­sic State-funded ed­u­ca­tion and fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion, which the State, through rea­son­able leg­isla­tive and other mea­sures must make pro­gres­sively avail­able and ac­ces­si­ble’.

“The Con­sti­tu­tion of Zim­babwe en­shrines the right to ed­u­ca­tion,” she said.

CAMFED is an or­gan­i­sa­tion which has for long been ag­i­tat­ing for the girl-child ed­u­ca­tion sup­port for 25 years and has pro­vided se­condary school bur­saries to girls from poor, ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties with the gov­ern­ment of Zim­babwe through Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion min­istry. The Min­istry ap­plauded CAMFED and DFID for the pos­i­tive in­ter­ven­tions which highly im­pact on trans­form­ing the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

“This intervention from CAMFED and DFID strength­ens the build­ing of pos­i­tive so­cial responsibility to en­hance ac­cess to in­clu­sive, qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion to the marginalised com­mu­ni­ties, which should be ev­ery­one’s responsibility,” said Mrs Tha­bela.

She urged chil­dren to take ad­van­tage of such op­por­tu­ni­ties aimed at en­hanc­ing their ed­u­ca­tion.

“To all chil­dren, I im­plore you to hon­our your right to ed­u­ca­tion by em­brac­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties at your dis­posal,” said Mrs Tha­bela.

“I com­mend each one of you for the enor­mous ef­forts you are already mak­ing in this re­gard.”

Ad­dress­ing the same gath­er­ing, CAMFED National Di­rec­tor Zim­babwe, Mrs Faith Nkala ex­pressed con­cern over the long dis­tances pupils walk to ac­cess ed­u­ca­tion, adding that the do­na­tion of bi­cyl­ces would as­sist in re­duc­ing chal­lenges they face on their way to school.

“We all know too well of the many chil­dren liv­ing too far away from their near­est se­condary schools,” she said. “Chil­dren who are walk­ing up to 10 kilo­me­tres of­ten go through dan­ger­ous ter­rain, threat­ened by wild an­i­mals, storms or floods.”

“They of­ten ar­rive at school tired, and too hun­gry to learn.”

Mrs Tha­bela

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