HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to add my voice to the speech presented to this House by His Excellency. There are several things that the President talked about, but I will concentrate on only four issues that particularly affect the part of the country where I come from.
Madam Speaker, the President talked about education. On issues of education, in my constituency Madam Speaker, there is a particular problem of examination centres when it comes to this time of the year. As we speak, students are writing their O’Level and A’ Level examinations and I have several schools in my area – more than 10 secondary schools, which are writing examinations in a camped situation. They have moved from their original schools and have camped some 20km to 30km away from their schools without food; with more like basic things for camping and some are literally in camps, some sleeping in classrooms mainly because they are not allowed to write examinations in their own schools because the Ministry of Education requires that those school must be registered.
When schools have to be registered, there are specific requirements that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education requires, but some of these schools have those requirements. They have enough desks or furniture, they have enough rooms, they have safes, but they cannot be registered because there is an extra requirement that the Department of Physical Planning must survey those schools and make sure they appear on the cadastral maps of the country. One wonders how physical planning comes in issues of ensuring that the school is registered for exams. I think this is one area where the Ministry of Education must assist us because there is no way you can expect those particular schools Madam Speaker, to perform and compare at national level when they are writing in situations where they have to camp like refugees in their major schools. This is a very serious problem which needs urgent attention if we have to see equitable development of our school curricular and the school performances in these areas.
There is the issue of deployment of teachers which Hon. Mackenzie from Kariba articulated. I do not know what policy Government is using of late. Third term, we witnessed a situation where several buses carrying teachers from Mashonaland colleges taking up positions in our schools. we have our own local teachers sitting without employment but we get teachers from other colleges instead of the colleges within the region. I think this needs an explanation because if teachers have the same qualification, well for secondary schools we can appreciate that perhaps some teachers may have specific majored in subjects, but a primary school trained teacher at Chinhoyi Teachers’ College, Belvedere or Seke Teachers’ College is equally trained and has the same qualification like the one from Hillside or United Teachers’ College. I think this is an issue which is worrying the residents of our particular areas where you get several teachers from Mashonaland occupying places of people in our areas. We are not worried if those teachers came with their qualifications but if the local teachers are available from United College, let them be deployed in those areas.
Continued next page