Msengezi High introduces Cabinet Prefecture system 

Source: Msengezi High introduces Cabinet Prefecture system | The Sunday Mail

Msengezi High introduces Cabinet Prefecture system

Emilia Zindi

MSENGEZI HIGH SCHOOL last Friday become the first school in Mashonaland West province to introduce the recently adopted system of Cabinet Prefecture.

The Cabinet Prefecture system being introduced in schools involves a formation of a Cabinet at high schools, whose roles should be the same as that of serving Cabinet ministers.

The idea is to help students to gain an appreciation of the operations and responsibilities of a Cabinet minister.

The system involves the elevation of former and current school prefects from being mere prefects to be involved in the decision-making processes at their schools.

For instance, the Cabinet Prefecture inaugurated at Msengezi High is expected to operate as a Cabinet representing the students, as their decisions will affect the entire school.

In terms of the system, the school is the constituency, whereby school authorities are also expected to work hand-in-glove with the Cabinet Prefecture.

Speaking at the inauguration on Friday, Provincial education director Mr Gabriel Mhuma applauded the school for being the first to adopt the concept in the province.

He said the students elevated to become Cabinet ministers under the system should fully understand the meaning of Cabinet.

“Cabinet is a small group of the most important people that are responsible for advising the President or Prime Minister and help to make important Government decisions,” he said.

Mr Mhuma said the first Cabinet Prefecture at Msengezi – with a President, Vice President and ministers – was a clear sign that there was something extraordinary in all the students that were elevated to Cabinet ministers.

“Cabinet approves those decisions that affect the people, hence that small group, out of over 800 students, you have been chosen to represent with your role being that of advising the school administration on what is best for the students,” he said.

The Cabinet Prefecture, he said, is a part of decision-making of school business and should reflect principles of democracy.

Mr Mhuma said the Cabinet Prefecture system had several advantages that schools are expected to benefit from.

The benefits include exposure to civic education, whose concepts include participation, empowerment, empathy, good governance, servitude, volunteerism, patriotism, teamwork, accountability and positive attitudes.

It also exposes learners to electoral processes of nomination, campaigning, voting and ballot systems, as well as results management.

Pupils develop leadership skills and other skills linked to leadership, and providing regular consultation, engagement and communication among pupils.

He added: “This Cabinet Prefecture is regarded as leaders of the students’ body; as such, were expected to lead by example.”

The Cabinet Prefecture is also expected to give advice to school authorities on issues concerning students’ welfare.

Mr Mhuma, however, said it was unfortunate that the parents of the students who made it in the Msengezi Cabinet Prefecture were not present on Friday.

He said it was a must that parents be involved by way of being invited at the school and be told of the responsibilities their children now have.

It is no longer business as usual for these students whose Cabinet portfolios make them different from other students.

The president of the Cabinet Prefecture at Msengezi High School is Mitchell Marufu.

Speaking at the same occasion, acting Chegutu district inspector Mr Dumisani Mbofana said the adoption of the system at Msengezi was a milestone, as it ensured that High School students start practicing as Cabinet ministers and parliamentarians at an early stage.

“That is the same system we want to see work in our schools. The prefects are now called MPs. Prior to this, it was only the head boy and head girl, and their vices, who were elected by teachers at the respective schools.

“But now it is all former prefects and current ones being elevated to Cabinet ministers,” he said.

The expectation is to see a change in all aspects at the school, with every minister being tasked to work hard to improve conditions and services under his or her ministry.

For instance, the student with the Ministry of Health and Child Care is expected to spearhead programmes towards health issues at the school with the participation of school authorities.

On the other hand, the Minister of Home Affairs is also expected to deal with issues of bullying from a student perspective with a view of coming up with stringent solutions.

The occasion was graced by Government officials, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education officials, headmasters, as well as district and provincial education officers.