Education Amendment Bill gets Cabinet nod

Cabinet has approved the Education Amendment Bill of 2018 which seeks to guarantee the right to basic State-funded education at primary and secondary level, a right to further education which State is enjoined to make progressively available and accessible, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa revealed yesterday.

The Bill also seeks to guarantee the right of persons with disabilities to be provided with special facilities for their education and to have access to State-funded education and training, as well as the right to freedom from physical or psychological torture or inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, Minister Mutsvangwa said at a media briefing.

“The amendments will align the Education Act to the Constitution and also help the country’s education system to keep abreast with global developments,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa also announced that the Ministry of High and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development was embarking on the implementation of geospatial, aeronautical and space science capability programmes.

“The Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency Board is currently being established while the associated research programmes are already in progress,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the ministry was also conducting cattle reproductive technologies research programmes which should see the production of 4 000 straws of semen per hour using an automated process at the Chinhoyi University of Technology.

The programme would be launched in January 2019, she said.

“The establishment of innovation hubs and industrial parks with the UZ innovation hub is already 80 percent complete while construction of the superstructure at the Chinhoyi University of Technology is also complete,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the ministry was also capacitating teachers in the field of science.

The ministry also wants to increase the absorption rate of post “O’’ and A’’ Level students in the country to reduce unemployment of youth.

“This will be hinged on the introduction of the apprenticeship programme for which interviews for suitable candidates to start in January 2019 are already in progress,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Meanwhile, the minister said in line with the 100-day timeframe, Cabinet had approved the following priority projects — eviction of 500 illegal farm settlers and issuance of 500 A1 permits and production of 200 A2 farm diagrams, being the programmes presented by the Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Ministry.

“Cabinet agreed to embark on irrigation development for 443 hectares of functional irrigated area, fencing 100 kilometres of Gonarezhou National Park and improving livestock and agricultural water supply through the rehabilitation of 882 boreholes, drilling of 50 new ones and equipping of 97 others,” she said.