Felex Share, Harare Bureau
President Mnangagwa yesterday said the Second Republic is doing its best for young people and Vision 2030 will only be achievable if Government takes the youths’ views and needs into perspective.
Addressing the traditional Children’s Party in Harare ahead of today’s Independence Day celebrations, the President said Government was growing the economy for young people to grow up in a modern and better economy.
Young people, President Mnangagwa said, should be free to share their thoughts and express how leaders can serve them better in line with the concept of devolution.
“Our nation will only achieve the targets for Vision 2030 if we take your views and needs into consideration,” he said.
“The Second Republic is doing all that is possible to create a brighter future for you. Things are changing, so that our country can live in peace, harmony and prosperity. Our people are finding each other and the world is embracing us. We are growing our economy, improving our roads, railways and housing infrastructure as well as modernising and industrialising all sectors of the economy. These changes are being made so that you grow up in a modern and better society. We are committed to consider your present and future needs in all that we do.”
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was well known world over for sound educational policies and literacy levels adding that these standards should be maintained.
“The accelerated expansion of schools nationwide together with the reform of our curriculum is a testimony of Government’s commitment in this regard,” he said.
“We will continue to ensure that education is brought to your door steps and that no one is left behind. Meanwhile, the competence-based curriculum that seeks to prepare you for life and work in an increasingly globalised and competitive environment will be vigorously implemented. The critical outcome of the new curriculum is that you should attain basic skills, knowledge and values that will enable you to fulfil your dreams and ambitions in life.
“You must equally be equipped to contribute to the development and transformation of our beloved country. The life skills orientation programme has been introduced to inculcate and develop a sense of identity, self-discipline, patriotism amongst all our learners. This will also help you to make and choose the best career paths based on your personal strengths and attributes.”
President Mnangagwa said Government had put in place critical changes that would give young people strong foundations for scientific, vocational and technical skills.
“Resources will be availed for teaching and learning materials as well as e-learning equipment and facilities to enable these programmes to be speedily rolled out,” he said.
“The education programmes being implemented by my Government will bring about tangible and lasting achievements in line with the SDG4 and the 2030 Education Development Agenda.”
Turning to Cyclone Idai—which killed 52 school children and six teachers— the President said Government would not neglect the aspiration of all learners in affected districts.
“Extensive plans are in place to rebuild schools which were destroyed,” he said.
“The welfare, safety and wellbeing of our vulnerable children will be given due attention by the relevant departments within Government. I applaud all those of you who gave away their clothes and books to those affected. These kind deeds must always be encouraged and facilitated.”
President Mnangagwa said the standards of infrastructure and quality of teaching and learning levels in satellite schools were worrisome with some institutions recording a zero percent pass rate. As such, he said, more resources would be channelled to redress the situation.
“The adverse effects of the prevailing drought in most areas of the country will see more schools resuscitating the School Feeding Programme to cushion vulnerable learners,” he said.
“Robust and comprehensive modalities must be worked out at school, cluster and district levels.”
He urged the school authorities to allocate some time for school children to participate in the national clean-up campaign programme, held every first Friday of the month.
The Head of State and Government also urged the young people to be respectful, truthful and shun violence, drugs, alcohol and substance abuse.
“As we celebrate Independence Day, let us never forget those men and women who paid the supreme sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today,” he said.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima thanked President Mnangagwa for his swift reaction to the Cyclone Idai disaster. “We are determined to do the best for our children and ensuring that they play an important role in the future prosperity of this country,” he said.
“The future of this country is in the hands of our children and we have to lay the foundation for them to realise their dreams.”
Vice President Kembo Mohadi and several Ministers also attended the party where the First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa gave presents to the school children who were coordinating the provinces.