By Daniel Chigundu
Government will from next year start teaching the Zimbabwe Constitution to primary and secondary school pupils, as a way of making citizens appreciate the country’s supreme law, a Deputy Minister has revealed.
Zimbabwe adopted a new constitution in 2013, dumping the Lancaster House Constitution which was supreme since the country attained independence in April of 1980.
According to Chapter 1 Section 7(b) of the new Constitution, the State must promote public awareness of this Constitution through various means including teaching it in schools, security services and civil service among others.
Many people cried foul over the manner in which the referendum to adopt the new constitution was handled with most of them arguing that they had not been given enough time to study the all important national document.
Speaking in Parliament recently, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Paul Mavima said they are going to introduce constitutional studies to schools early next year and that the program will also include Early Child Development (ECD) pupils.
“Honourable Speaker, the House would recall that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has undertaken a curriculum review. We completed that process.
“We have now completed the development of syllabi and are launching this new curriculum, come January 2017 starting with the ECD grades, Grade 1, Grade 3, Form 1, Form 3 and Form 5.
“Embedded in all the learning areas of primary, secondary and high school is what we call Heritage Studies and within that, we are going to teach elements of the Constitution starting right from ECD level, but with different levels of articulation of the Constitution, scaling up until we get to high school where there is going to be more detailed learning of the Constitution. So, that is being done and we are launching in 2017,” he said.
Deputy Minister Mavima added that apart from the constitutional lessons, government is also looking at teaching school pupils about other national symbols and the national anthem, building from the National Pledge.
“We have a program to teach our learners not only about our national anthem. You will also recall that the Ministry has even gone beyond just teaching about the national anthem to crafting a National Schools Pledge which gets our learners to commit and to salute the national flag and to state their commitment to other values, which that pledge is part of the national heritage studies.
“In addition to that, we are going to teach our learners about different national symbols including the Constitution, the national anthem, the right way to sing the national anthem and I would like the House to know that for most State functions, it is the learners who lead the public in singing the national anthem. So, we have actually also been teaching the public on how to sing the national anthem,” said the Deputy Minister.