By Prof Changamire
Zimbabwe’s education Minister has banned Christian activities in all schools, and is widely believed to be pushing for greater islamic influence in the education sector. His war against Christians seems to be a Holy War, in fact, it is the modern day Jihad.
Religion has never been a problem under the many education ministers that have been at the helm of that ministry in Zimbabwe, one could argue that they all faced different issues, and with the backing of a strong and performing economy the religion issues were somewhat negligible, whilst this might seem laudable, it is the multiple reoccurrences of controversy that has dogged Minister Dokora’s term that warrants attention.
1: Examination Fee Hikes:
He suggested that it will curb exams papers from leaking although this has not been the case, also introduced exam fees for Grade seven students who up to that point where sitting for these exams free of charge.
2: Condoms Issue
Dokora proposed that students should be given condoms by their parents as a way of protecting them from the dangers associated with unprotected sex.
3: Banning of Extra Lessons
The minister’s position was that it was illegal to do such, which left him at loggerheads with the police commissioner Augustine Chihuri who insisted that extra lessons should not be banned as they helped slow learners. Dokora scrapped them nonetheless.
The unanswered question then is why, has Christianity suddenly become an issue with the minister? What are the far reaching consequences of his decisions? Why do we have to focus on the scrapping of institutions (Scripture Union) that have in one way or another provided hope and guidance for our students?
The honorable minister is busy focusing on extraneous issues whilst the government school feeding program has failed to take off! Whilst learners are taking shelter under mud houses that serve as classrooms, besides having to walk for at least 10km to access an educational facility? Whilst the number of those in school is far less than those who are supposed to be in school? Surely this is a chronic case of misaligned priorities.
The so called reforms are being implemented by a man who is bereft of ideas but wants so desperately to be prominent in the annals of history, as such the only way for him, is to implement very radical & unpopular policies.
Another motivation is religious, the aforementioned is a practicing Muslim and according to the Quran a caliphate has been promised to the faithful (Muslims)
Surah 24:55 Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will of a surety grant them in the land, inheritance (of power) as He granted it to those before them. Ali Translation
The verse goes on further to describe the semblance of the caliphate, with this in mind it’s imperative to know that Islam is both a religion and a state, this is evidenced by Muhammad after having immigrated to Medina from Mecca, he set up a political government with laws that covered every aspect of life. Islam’s utmost goal is to establish its authority worldwide and it’s the duty of every Muslim to participate in this. As outlined before Islam is a religion and a form of government if we are to look at Sudan (under Hasan Al Turabi) the Taliban in Afghanistan and Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran. To further buttress these claims the minister has banned schools to host Christians activities on their premises.
The minister also seems to be heavily borrowing from the writings of Alice Bailey and Djwal Khul, more especially Alice Bailey’ 10 Point Plan, which I will outline below.
- TAKE GOD AND PRAYER OUT OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
- REDUCE PARENTAL AUTHORITY OVER THE CHILDREN
- Promote excessive child rights; (1997-1998 South Africa introduced Child rights legislation – UNICEF Charter;
- Abolish corporal punishment
- Teachers are the agents of implementation
- CREATE AN INTERFAITH MOVEMENT.
There is therefore reasonable justification that the minister’s actions are being informed by his religious beliefs.
Another one of his inventions is the so called national pledge, it’s evident from the uproar that the populace resent his policies for one reason or another and as such in the name of sanity and a semblance of order, the minister should recede from his decision.
On paper Zimbabwe is a constitutional republic and as such arbitrary rules and regulations should be discouraged, a holder of public office cannot and should not impose his/her opinion on the general citizenry, should there be no buy in from the public then apathy follows, State media reported that several schools, have mastered the national pledge yet the pledge must be understood, so what then are they pledging if they don’t understand what they are saying? The pledge like his other policies should have been a consultative process with all relevant stake and stockholders.
Over and above the plethora of problems facing our education system, we Zimbabweans are a proud, intelligent and humble people and as such we refuse to be proud inheritors of this mess!
- Prof Changamire is his father’s child, who uses words to describe his thoughts and calls Africa home he can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org