PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Cabinet recently made a decision to reopen schools. It’s not a bad idea, but it is ill-conceived and not well thought.
I think the government in its decision making forgot that there are rural learners that have inadequate supply of textbooks and these learners depend largely on the teachers to deliver lessons in any one subject. Therefore, it is not prudent and it will not benefit the rural schoolchildren to be forced to write examinations when they attended a month and-a-half of the first term.
From my experience, rural teachers hardly present at the start of any term. It’s either the teacher is still to be recruited or they are trying their luck to change schools or they can’t afford bus fare to go to their designated schools.
The ultimate loser is the rural learner. There is no network for online lessons in most rural communities. Even if there was network, the kids cannot afford data bundles. They cannot be compared to their peers in urban communities. They are just disadvantaged.
Another critical thing that Cabinet did not consider is the issue of payment of school fees. I producing for the future? I know university students who went on attachment at the beginning of the year. They got affected by the lockdown.
Ever since, they have been home. What attachment record will they produce for the university unless as a nation we are prepared to produce ill-prepared varsity graduates? Is Cabinet forcing raw learners on teachers?
Schools have dollarised, while the parents are, if at all, earning bond notes. The dollars are not obtainable from the forex auction market, but from the parallel market.
Is Cabinet not undermining the electorate with hurried non-beneficial decisions like opening schools in the window period? The best would have been to open all schools in January 2021 and that every learner starts in their current grade or level.
I think as a sovereign State, this Cambridge examination thing must have gone with the British.
Unless we mean we are not yet liberated, then we remain colonised in our institutions of learning.
We are Zimbabweans, let us learn for Zimbabwean examinations. Colonial mentality must be discarded.