THIS week’s opening of the third term school calendar has seen thousands of parents failing to access food, fees, uniforms and stationery for their children’s schools and colleges owing to a populist move by the discredited Zanu PF regime which has
caused shortages of basic commodities on the supermarket shelves.
The Zanu PF circus went a gear up on Monday when thousands of parents and students spent the night at major bus termini across the country as the acute shortage of fuel and the collapse of the public transport system begins to further wear down the already strained education system.
Boarding students are going back to school without any food. Boarding schools have no food, educational infrastructure has collapsed nationwide while a major brain drain has hit all schools, tertiary colleges and universities because of low salaries and poor working conditions. There are no books and basic stationery at Zimbabwe’s educational institutions, which have simply become a collective national shame.
The MDC condemns the undue punishment being meted out to innocent Zimbabweans by a regime that has dismally failed. Zanu PF has proved it cannot run a modern economy with functioning systems, policies and working infrastructure. Zanu PF has simply failed to transform into a caring government that can provide as basic a service as a functioning education system.
The recommendations of the Nziramasanga Commission report, which are gathering dust in government offices, have been completely ignored as the Zanu PF regime engages in populist policies which have backfired to the detriment of hard-working parents and their school-going children.
The infrastructural collapse of universities and tertiary colleges has become legendary. University lecturers earn far below the poverty datum line of $8,5 million, further straining an already collapsed education system.
The MDC believes that education is every child’s basic right. In the new Zimbabwe that we envision, every child shall receive quality education. An MDC government will address the mismatch between the budgetary allocation to education and that of other less important sectors such as defence. We cannot prioritise guns and bombs ahead of our children’s education. Military arsenal should not take precedence over a good education for Zimbabwe’s future leaders.
Delivering quality education is our mandate. A new Zimbabwe, a new beginning. Now is the time.
MDC secretary for education