MPs query national pledge introduction

via MPs query national pledge introduction – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 7, 2016

OPPOSITION MPs yesterday questioned the introduction of the national pledge at primary and secondary schools without consulting key stakeholders over its acceptability and content.
by VENERANDA LANGA

Binga North MP, Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-T) said Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister, Paul Mavima must explain how the national pledge was crafted and if there was any consensus on its contents.

“There are two foundations for the so-called consensus, the first being the fact that virtually all words in the national pledge are coming from our Constitution, which was crafted based on extensive consultations,” Mavhima responded.

“Second, the national pledge is also part of the new curriculum, which was crafted after consultations at schools, which involved parents and even MPs took part. Initially, when the outreach was done, MPs were invited to make contributions, and there is no question as to whether there was national consensus because we did consultations.”

Buhera South legislator, Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) said if the opposition MDC-T legislators did not like the new national pledge, then they should withdraw their children from schools.

“Our own children want to learn about national issues and patriotism, and if opposition MPs do not want the national pledge, they should remove their children from school,” he thundered.

Mavhima said the national pledge was part of heritage studies.

“The subject that must begin to be studied from early childhood development (ECD) level up to Advanced Level. In the new curriculum, we will have patriotism lessons up to ‘A’ Level,” he said.

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mabel Chinomona, then ruled out further supplementary questions on the issue and agreed with Sibanda’s request that Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora issues a ministerial statement to allow for extensive debate before the pledge is introduced in May.

Meanwhile, the question-and-answer session was disrupted for 35 minutes after Mabvuku-Tafara MP James Maridadi

(MDC-T) queried why State broadcaster ZTV was not broadcasting the National Assembly sitting live.

Glen Norah legislator Webster Maondera (MDC-T) also raised a point of order with Chinomona that MPs had, for long, insisted that there be an acting Leader of the House in the absence of Vice-President Emerson Mnangagwa, but nothing had been done on the issue.

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    Reverend 6 years ago

    No to the national pledge….to all Christians please note that the minister of education issued a directive to all schools in Zimbabwe.
    Compelling your children to recite a so called national pledge..hoping to inculcate the so called patriotism into your children… All parents are to take their children to schools and give them gifts for reciting the national pledge. Please be warned that the devil is in the detail…. Your children are being forced to worship the spirits of the dead through that statement.. Someone is mischievously trying to impose their religious beliefs upon us through that confession… The bible teaches that the power of life and death is in the tongue.. We indeed reap the reward of our confession.. The repetition of the citation has a long term spiritual impact and in shaping the belief system of our children and their future ..the prayer seems to acknowledge God..on face value but it is an attempt to force us into idol worship ..the first place what necessitated such a move that has a bearing on the national symbols …
    An addition to the national anthem without consulting the Zimbabweans ..neither was there a national process that ensured that there is consensus on the issue..
    The pledge is from our view a violation of our constitutional right to freedoms of conscience and worship.

    We therefore find ourselves faced with a situation that was faced by Daniel and his friends in Babylon.
    We therefore call upon every Christian to set aside a time for prayer for Zimbabwe that is at dire straights. And for our leaders…
    We set aside Saturday 30 April as a day for prayer and fasting . please join us in praying for peace in Zimbabwe.
    We call upon the minister to revoke his directive with immediate effect…and engage a nationwide consultation..
    We call upon the minister to invest his energies towards strengthening education and ensuring universal access to free education to all children as enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe rather than attempting to impose his beliefs on every Zimbabwean.
    We implore all Christians to not to participate in the 3 May event in schools… Participation is tantamount to idolatry that invites a curse on our land. Please send this to as many Christian parents as possible..