For the URGENT attention of: ALL Education Ministries, Cabinet, Parliament and Senate of Zimbabwe
The Government of Zimbabwe has directly retrogressed in its obligation to provide free primary education according to local, regional and international instruments. The State has made no effort to correct this retrogression even after including the right to education in the Constitution Bill of Rights.
The Laws relating to the right to education are all contained in the following
a) The right to education enjoys protection in international law. Section 26 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that, ‘Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory…’
b) The International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), in Article 13(2) (a) and (b), obliges states parties to make primary education compulsory and free, whereas secondary education “shall be made generally available and accessible”.
c) The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) provides for the right to education in Article 28. Article 28 (1) (a) places an obligation upon States parties to make primary education compulsory and free, whereas article 28(1) (b) requires states to make secondary education available and accessible to the child.
d) Article 17 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights stipulates that every individual shall have the right to education.
e) Zimbabwe has canvassed these international law principles through domestication which means bring these international laws into local laws. The Zimbabwean Constitution provides for the right to education in Section 27 which states that ‘the State shall take all practical measures to promote free and compulsory basic education for children…’ Further in the declaration of rights, Section 75 entitles ‘every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe to a basic State- funded education…’ The Education Act in Section 4 demands that ‘every child in Zimbabwe shall have the right to school education’.
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) representing citizens countrywide, therefore wish to publicly advise the Government of Zimbabwe, Ministry Officials, School Officials and members of the School Development Associations and Committees of the following declarations.
1. Parents will cease to pay school fees and all levies for primary level from this point forward.
2. Parents also cancel all debts accrued.
3. For secondary schooling, only the USD 10 tuition fee and statutory stipulated USD 5 levy will be accepted and paid.
4. Demand that immediately through policy and practice stop disrespecting the right to compulsory free primary and secondary education. Additionally, the government should investigate and penalise teachers or school heads who practice discrimination by chasing children who can’t pay fees from schools and allow accessibility by all children;
Education is an inheritance and a right! It must be FREE! Imfundo yilifa njalo lilungelo – Dzidzo inhkaka nekodzero.
August 2016 school fees boycott Woza Moya