Today is International Day of Education and VISET joins the world in commemorating this important day whose 2023 theme is “To invest in people, prioritise education.”
Education plays an important role at both individual and societal level in that it is the engine driver to national prosperity.
In Zimbabwe, according to the Education Act (Chapter 25:04), primary education for every child of school-going age shall be compulsory. This was further amended in 2020 to bring it in conformity with the Section 75 of the new constitution and further provides that every school provide suitable infrastructure for students with disabilities and requires government authorities to ensure disability rights are protected and accounted for in every school in the country. The law reasserts the constitutional protection that students should not pay fees, or levies, from preschool up to Form 4, the end of lower secondary education, and says no pupil shall be excluded from school for non-payment of school fees.
What we however see obtaining on the streets is that many children are being forced into the informal sector by parents and guardians in order to augment family incomes.
VISET in no way condones this practice and will continue to engage other stakeholders in trying to come up with measures to ensure that children are kept in schools in order for them to reach their full potential.
We also urge the government to come up with more state funded schools, as there continues to be a decline in state infrastructure funding for education, leaving children vulnerable to child labour and social ills such as drug abuse, child marriages and human trafficking.