via MDC Youth Assembly statement on 2014 Day of the African Child Commemorations. 12 June 2014 By Clifford Hlatywayo
The MDC Youth Assembly joins the rest of Africa in commemorating the 2014 Day of the African Child under its theme “Demanding Accessible, Affordable, Quality Education, Jobs and Equal opportunities for all.”
It is universally acknowledged that education plays an important role in the development of the individual and the country. The right to education is enshrined in various international, regional and national human rights instruments including the Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
Indeed, the Constitution of Zimbabwe Article 27.1(a) and (b) makes express reference to free and compulsory basic education for children as well as the promotion of higher and tertiary education.
However, Zimbabwe finds itself in a sorry state as the illegitimate government has dismally failed to provide for this basic right. For starters, over a million children have failed to go back to school because government failed to secure funding for the Basic Education Assistance Model, BEAM. Secondly, the conditions of service for teachers and lecturers remain appalling with the sham government mulling measures of not paying teachers during holiday times. Thirdly, the so called government has failed to promote higher and tertiary education as more families are failing to send their children for further education due to financial constraints.
The policies remain retrogressive and do not inspire confidence into the economy thereby negatively affecting social services such as the education sector.
Not only that, the same government has failed to honor its election promise to provide 2.2 million jobs. Instead, more job losses are experienced daily as companies fold under the current liquidity crunch. The majority of the youth find themselves jobless while thousands are forced out of employment due to increased company closures.
In such a crisis, the youth are the main victims.
As we commemorate the Day of the African Child, the MDC Youth Assembly demands that the government acts towards creating a well governed, managed and administered education system that produces world class citizens.
In order for this to happen, the government must ensure that every Zimbabwean has access to a high quality education that will enable them to optimize the use of individual talent and make advancement in a competitive world. Both society and individual must benefit from public expenditure on education.
Therefore, we demand that the student loans and grants in universities and colleges be re-introduced. We further demand that the so called government honors its constitutional obligation to provide free basic education to children.
The MDC Youth Assembly categorically calls for the abandonment of the partisan, anti-investor and non consistent policies being pursued by the Zanu PF government like the ZimAsset and the Indigenisation policy.
All Zimbabwean youths want jobs and equal opportunities for them to realise their maximum potential as economic players. All the people of Zimbabwe want a functional economy that encourage individual and national growth, not cheap political sloganeering as excuse for economic blueprints.
In line with the above, the Assembly will be having commemorations in the following areas
Bulawayo – 14 June 2014 (Youth Arena, Mpopoma-Pelandaba Constituency)
Chitungwiza – 15 June 2014 (Seke, Unit A)
Harare – 16 June 2014 (Harare Gardens)
Midlands – 21 June 2014 (Midlands Hotel)
The youth remain the custodians of the present and guarantors of tomorrow.
I thank you
MDC Youth Assembly National Spokesperson