By Providence Maraneli
With only three days left before schools open, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has embarked on a massive campaign to address challenges faced by learners in rural areas.
For a province that has alarming levels of school dropouts due to various challenges, among them child headed families and poverty, the coming in of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and its partners to encourage learners to return to school has been welcomed by parents and children saying it shows government’s determination in ensuring inclusive development.
“This community fair really helped us. I am guardian to someone who has a disability and it was so difficult. He dropped out because of stigma and now they have told me that I should bring him back and there are organisations that have pledged to help him,” a resident said.
“My sister’s son had dropped out because he didn’t have the money to pay school fees, but now he got help from a NGO and he is back at school and I am so happy and it shows that government is not leaving anyone behind,” another said.
A student told ZBC News, “I had dropped out of school because my mother could not afford fees, but now I am now doing my Form 3 and I am looking at a brighter future.”
“Our children are dropping out of school because of drugs and substance abuse, but if we parents and government officials help each other we can stop this problem,” a parent said.
The local leadership is convinced the community fair dovetails with government’s inclusive development agenda.
Insiza Ward 3 councillor, Mr Zenzo Mathuthu said, “We are so grateful to the New Dispensation because it is walking the talk. We are leaving no-one behind, it is what we went to the war to fight for and as we develop our country we need to help them.”
With only a few days left before schools open, the Minster of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Evelyn Ndlovu reaffirmed the Second Republic’s commitment to inclusive education.
“We have brought all these organisations that have anything to do with education so that we can put heads together and help our children. We are saying no-one should be left behind in education. As schools open no-child should stay at home for whatever reason. This is our new thrust we want to make sure that all those that have challenges are helped so that the future of our children is not wasted because of things we can solve,” she said.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Community Fair which was held at Mahole Business Centre in Insiza and Matjinge in Bulilima is meant to promote access and quality education to learners and sensitise communities on the importance of education.