The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE), in partnership with the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on the Alignment of Laws with the Constitution (IMT) and with the support of the EU and UNICEF, held the first of ten scheduled stakeholder consultations on the Education Amendment Bill at the Cresta Churchill Hotel, Bulawayo, on the 29th and 30th November 2016.
The objective of the workshop was to consult members of the public on a layman’s draft Education Amendment Bill and to solicit stakeholder input and recommendations on the alignment of the Education Act [Chapter 25:04] to the Constitution. The further objective of the workshop was to gain key regional insights into the experiences and challenges faced by members of the public in accessing educational services in the region in order to identify the areas for legislative and policy reform that will ensure that a new Education Act and policies are enacted which provide educational services that are not only accessible, but that are adaptable and acceptable for all leaners in Zimbabwe, including persons with disabilities.
In attendance at the workshop included representatives from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, UNICEF, ZIMSEC, Deaf Zimbabwe Trust, Zimbabwe Democratic Teachers Union, Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, Hillside Teachers College, Public Service Commission, National Free Library, and from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
The discussions were particularly marked by the participation of students from Montrose Girls High School, Lobengula High School and Cowdray Park Secondary School as well as the Junior Member of Parliament for Bulawayo East Constituency and the Junior Treasurer of Bulawayo Junior Council who engaged in lively debates on the appropriate form of discipline and chastisement in schools, and how to mete the destabilising effect of teenage pregnancies on education.