Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) has launched a report on the state of education in Zimbabwe entitled ‘Looking back to look forward – education in Zimbabwe: a WOZA perspective‘. The recommendations contained in the report form the basis of WOZA’s current campaign on education.
The education of their children has been a major driving force for Zimbabweans and WOZA members in particular, and the motivation behind much activism. In the first decade after Independence, the education system in Zimbabwe reached its peak and was heralded as the best in Africa. In the last decade however, it has been pushed to its decline by power and politics. The report reflects on how this decay took place in order to expose this injustice and to demand its immediate remedy.
The recommendations included in the report include:
- A revamping of the curriculum to ensure its relevance to the children who learn.
- Introducing more vocational subjects – both commercial and technical -and providing opportunities for children to be attached in work places during their senior years.
- Allowing children to be placed according to their abilities and their interests instead of providing the same curriculum for all
- Teaching methods need to stress skills development rather than rote learning of knowledge in preparation for exams.
- Administration of schools needs to be less autocratic and more tended to participatory decision-making; physical abuse, which is common, must stop.
- A subject which teaches human rights, good governance, and democratic practice will need to be introduced to the curriculum
- Teachers and administrators will need to be re-trained to accommodate new approaches to teaching and learning.
- Examination systems will have to be revamped.
In January 2010, ahead of the new school year, WOZA has the following demands:
- Teachers must produce quality teaching and show that they are committed to the learning of all their pupils equally.
- Education authorities must utilise the vehicles that are being purchased to supervise teachers and demand more discipline in schools.
- Teachers must stop demanding top-ups from parents and the Ministry must prohibit this practice.
- The Ministry must work to produce a new and relevant curriculum as recommended above.
- Parents will do their best to pay reasonable fees set by Ministry and levies set by properly constituted and democratic parents meetings at the beginning of each year – we will not accept any fee or levy changes in 2010.
The full report can be found by clicking on the following link: Looking back to look forward -education in Zimbabwe: a WOZA perspective1