BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE
The Amalgamated Rural Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) on Thursday called on policy makers to push for equality in the delivery of education in the Education Amendment Bill.
Artuz said Zimbabwe should consider the implementation of certain features of the South African Education Act in the Education Amendment Bill in order to promote equality in the education sector.
Testifying before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, ARTUZ president Obert Masaraure said Zimbabwe needed to clarify what
constitutes a school in order to ensure equality in accessing school facilities.
“The problem we have in Zimbabwe is that our Education Act does not define what a school is. If we look at the South African Education Act of 1996, they were clear on what a school was whereas in Zimbabwe lack thereof results in learners learning under a tree and are said to be at a school,” he said.
Masaraure urged Parliament to put in place an Act that provided an explanation on the required standards for a school.
“We are requesting parliament to establish norms and standards of a school to ensure that all students are awarded the same resources in terms of accessibility to schools,”
He said schools which did not meet required standards would be classified as sub-standard.
“We can come up with our own norms and standards and incorporate them in the Bill. Schools which are deemed to be falling short of the set norms and standards
should be classified as sub-standard schools. The Act should further provide for setting up an education equalisation fund. Such a fund should be used to upgrade the
facilities in the substandard schools,” Masaraure said.
The union also said there was need to protect schools, particularly from political exploitation, while also catering for teacher welfare and continuous development and
decentralisation of education planning and funding.