PARENTS should support Government initiatives to improve the standard of education to ensure future development, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga has said.
Speaking at St Francis of Assisi High School prize- giving day in Chivhu yesterday, Gen Chiwenga said implementation of the new curriculum needed support from all stakeholders.
The ZDF Commander is a former student at the school.
He said the introduction of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-oriented curriculum would quicken industrialisation.
“I envisage a situation of expansion of the school so that it can enrol many more students. Other areas that I expect us as parents to prioritise as a collective entity are those of ICT and science facilities so that we are in tandem with Government’s policy of stem-atising.
“The thrust of Government is on STEM subjects and we should fully support that. It is a fully considered thrust which will see the industrialisation of our country. Besides, that it is where the most jobs will be created in future. Let us play our part, not by doing STEM ourselves as parents, but through paying fees on time, wilfully donating to the school and, where possible, sourcing for donations.”
He added: “Let us not be negative about the new curriculum. It is in itself a product of empirical research and which is appropriate for both the evolving local and global context.”
Gen Chiwenga encouraged former students to assist their ex-schools to which they owe part of their success.
“My other purpose in outlining how we are a product of others’ benevolence was to implore former students of this school to do whatever you can to improve the conditions here. The potential growth of the school is what should be in each student, teacher’s or parent’s and stakeholder’s mind. We should be a community that sees possibilities in seemingly insurmountable tasks. We should be guided by the realisation that St Francis of Assisi High School will be key to any problems that might confront us in future.
“In fact, we all need St Francis of Assisi High School more when we have left it than when we are here as students or parents of current students.”
The ZDF Commander then paid tribute to the late Jesuit Priest, Father Paschal Slevin, who assisted him and other Chimurenga war heroes to evade Rhodesian forces on their way to training in neighbouring countries. Ft Slevin was recently posthumously bestowed with the Royal Order of Munhumutapa for his support of the liberation struggle while a missionary priest at Mount St Mary’s Mission in Hwedza.
“As you may be aware, Father Slevin was a missionary of Irish extraction, who against the wishes of the minority Rhodesian government supported the cause of the liberation struggle in this country.
“Under Rhodesian law such acts were clearly treasonous especially if one were of colour. For his role in supporting the cause of the liberation of Zimbabwe, Father Slevin was deported to Ireland where he stayed until independence in 1980.
“However, before he left, he is the one who personally facilitated that young Constantino Chiwenga, Perrance Shiri, Richard Huchu and Enerst Mandizvidza (Peter Vere, (now late) abscond from Rhodesia and get safe passage to Zambia via Botswana to join the liberation struggle.
“Later, he would do the same to the likes of Shelton Tsomondo (late) and Nathaniel Machemedze (Major-General, retired) among many other young lives that ended up being part of the liberation struggle.”
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