Zimbabwe’s inclusive government and UNICEF yesterday launched the second phase of the Education Transition Fund that will see the distribution of seven million text books to secondary schools in the country.
This comes as a follow up to last year’s program, launched by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, which targeted primary schools.
Tsvangirai and Vice President, John Nkomo said it was important for the inclusive government to invest in education.
Said Tsvangirai: “Governments anywhere rise and fall on the basis of their response to invest in social services. With no education and health, there is no society to talk about.”
“For the first time in decades, pupils will not share text books. Our education system for the first time turned a new leaf and this is indeed a revolution. I know what books mean to these children who were used to (the reality) that only the teacher should have text books,” he said.
Tsvangirai said he was touched by the plight of children in rural areas in particular, during his tour of provinces as most were still learning in cattle-pens while others walk to school barefooted.
“In Binga pupils displayed their books but none of them had shoes. They recited a poem that they will use education to kick poverty out of their community,” said Tsvangirai.
“In this age, I have encountered a grass-thatched classroom. They are classrooms during the day and cattle-pens during the night.” Nkomo said a lot needed to be done to improve the quality of education in the country.
“According to the Zimbabwe Education Act, all children have the right to education but there is still a lot that needs to be done. My government will soon unveil 59 vehicles for the monitoring of education services and learning environment.”
Meanwhile, 13 children from Jairos Jiri Primary School in Kadoma with an albinism condition yesterday received donations of spectacles from the Prime Minister. The school also received 500 chicks from the PM which he said should help the school to be self sufficient.
PM Tsvangirai also donated a television set and a DVD player to the Rimuka old people’s home in Kadoma. The initiative to take care of the disadvantaged is a baby of a department in the PM’s office recently formed to take care of the needy.