National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) president Professor Lovemore Madhuku says last year’s grade seven results were a small part of a big problem in the country’s education system.
Speaking during a media briefing in Harare today, Madhuku blamed the ruling Zanu PF government for the poor grade seven results which he said reflected the systematic neglect of the education system by the state.
“We are very much disappointed by the grade seven results, we believe that the less than 37 % pass rate is actually something that we all must call upon that something is not right in our education system. As NCA we believe that is a tip of the iceberg showing that things are not right there and we would rightly describe it as a national disaster. We believe that a proper education system is one of the most important aspects that of raising communities out of poverty.
“If you want to undermine the poor and the marginalised, give them an improperly structured education if you look at those results they will tell you that many of our underprivileged communities are the ones that suffered. We would want to place the blame squarely and largely on the Zanu PF government in respect of the grade 7 results,” said Madhuku.
On why his party blames Zanu PF for the grade seven results, Madhuku said they neglected the education system while concentrating on other issues.
“We are blaming Zanu PF because there has been a systematic neglect of the education sector. In the first 10 years of independence the Zanu PF Government under Mugabe did better and we are products of that. Suddenly in the 1990s they started neglecting the education system concentrating on other issues.
“The systematic neglect by Zanu PF which has been building over the years is being reflected in last year’s grade seven results, it’s not so much about COVID-19 but it is a clear decaying framework that suddenly blows out. If some people are not careful they will look for short term explanations we believe it must be a long term explanation.
“There has been a systematic reduction in the salaries that are paid to people in the education sector and there has been a senseless way of dealing with the real concerns of the teachers and you know how last year’s strikes were handled. Look at the school infrastructure some of the pictures coming on social media you will not believe that in this country we have schools like that. If you create an environment like that for learning you cannot expect to have anything,” he said.
Madhuku said even with the online learning in place, the traditional way of learning is unavoidable because the majority of people are marginalized.
“Currently, there is actually the absence of a strategy of our education in the face of Covid-19, there is absolutely nothing and the Government is not working on that strategy. You can have people talking about online education but again we are building an elite society. As NCA we believe that there is an important framework to look at even in the face of COVID-19 face to face education in many of our marginalized is still mandatory and unavoidable,” Madhuku said.