Thursday, 17 April 2014

President meets Salvation Army leader President calls for moral rectitude

President Mugabe is welcomed by Child president Ntandoyenkosi Moyo, while Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mr Justin Mpamhanga (centre) looks on at the children’s Independence Day party at the City Sports Centre in Harare yesterday.(Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)
Tarirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
YOUTHS should take education seriously and desist from engaging in risky behaviour that may affect their ability to succeed in their academic endeavours, President Mugabe has said.
The President said this at the City Sports Centre in Harare while addressing thousands of young people drawn from the country’s 10 provinces at the annual Children’s Party to celebrate Independence Day yesterday.

“On the part of children, you must have good discipline, keep your mind free from the impurities that might tarnish it — drink and smoke, but that’s not all — keep away from habits that spoil your character like joining in gangs, groups that tend to be criminal or to go in ways that inhibit your learning capacity. Avoid those groups both on the male and female side.”

The President Mugabe urged teachers to be exemplary and urged parents to play their part in their children’s upbringing.

“Our teachers must also be exemplary, be clean, be disciplined teachers, be systematic and be committed to your work. The parents must continue to ensure that the home environment which the child should live is a healthy environment . . . is a promotive environment.

“The child must not lack those things that facilitate his or her learning. You (parents) must be able to pay fees, be able to provide the child with good food and good clothing and ensure that your child has a disciplined environment at home and is not allowed to do his will all the time.

“He does his homework as set by the teachers consistently.

“Government must continue to look at its policies and ensure that the poor parents are assisted so that their children are not disadvantaged merely because they are poor. Let us ensure that our systems of assisting the poor parents continue to be in place,” President Mugabe said.


Teachers had parental responsibility over the children they taught hence the need to guard against abusing that trust by sexually molesting pupils.

He said the country had achieved the highest literacy levels because of teamwork by all stakeholders, including the children themselves.

Government appreciated their efforts in ensuring that the country achieved that fit.

He, however, bemoaned the poor pass rates lately, particularly at Ordinary Level. This year’s was just above 20 percent.

President Mugabe said following recommendations by the Nziramasanga Commission, Government was now prioritising equipping pupils with practical skills.

“Education should not be education for education’s sake, you must be educated in relation to your environment so that you can participate in making the lives better and our courses, therefore, at the secondary school much more at the university our subjects must not fail to relate to our environment,” he said.

He said Zimbabwe had an all encompassing environment that required experts in such fields as agriculture, mining and many others.

President Mugabe said the Zim-Asset economic policy framework also called on the country to add value to the various minerals and other agricultural commodities produced in the country to ensure maximum returns. Zimbabwe had expertise to do that.

“It’s their natural resources . . . they are not resources of any other country, why want to invite foreigners to come and do it for you when you have institutions that produce experts who can do it for the country and for themselves,” he said.

On civil servants, the President said Government was committed to improving their conditions of service.

“To the teachers, I say we promised you that we shall always look after you better than we have done in the past and I want to reiterate that promise. It’s a promise to the civil servants as a whole that we want their salaries to remain above the Poverty Datum Line,” he said.

He, however, added that Government also expected them to improve their performance with the improvement of their conditions of service.

The President said today’s celebrations should also be a reflection of the country’s history.

“The growth of a nation is also in a sense the experience of lots of people who will have formed that nation and so on an occasion which we will celebrate tomorrow (today). We don’t just celebrate our independence but cast our minds back to those who are not with us but contributed to our independence,” President Mugabe said.

The young children had a responsibility to continue with the struggle to fulfil the aspirations of the founding fathers of the nation, he said.

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