Reviewing Education Amendment Act

The Education Amendment Act, 2020 was assented on the 6 th of March 2020 addressing the shortcomings of the 2006 Education Amendment Act (25:04), as well as complying with the provision of Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment Number 20) of 2013.

ZINECDA welcomes the amendments within the Education Amendment Act as they reinforce the role of advocacy and the importance of strengthening Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs and education policies.

Reviewing the Education Amendment Act CAP 25:04 2020

Early Childhood Development is defined in this principal Act from a holistic point of view that emphasizes the physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development of children ages 4 and 5years.

Unpacking the Education

  • Early Childhood Development for the first time becomes recognized as part of basic education.
  • The Government strengthened its position to provide free basic state funded education from ECD to the forth form.
  • It provided for the use of the mother language as the primary instruction medium for ECD.
  • ECD education definition has been expanded to relate to the holistic development of the child in physical, socio-emotional and cognitive wellbeing.

UNPACKING EDUCATION

The 2020 national education budget has set out to pilot the basic state funded ECD in two districts per province. The Education Amendment Act endeavours to set out a fund that specifically speaks to this provision but however currently there is no mechanism. Early Childhood Education for the first time becomes eligible for consideration in this pilot program as well as the BEAM.

 

Conclusion

Although the ascension of the Education Amendment Act is a step in the right direction it provides opportunities for growth of ECD. However, the Government has to:

  • Put a legal instrument and a mechanism to effectively provide for compulsory
    state funded basic education.
  • Provide a clear timetable of “progressively” implementing the compulsory
    basic state funded education beginning with the most disadvantaged.
  • Include every ECD teacher to the government salary payroll as stated in the
    spirit of the Act
  • Desist from using terms like “endeavour” and “subject to availability of
    resources” among others to avoid fulfilling the rights of learners to education
    and health.

 

ZINECDA would like to follow up with a research study that seeks to unpack the Education Amendment Act 2020 and as related to the Amended Constitution of 2013 and identify ECD advocacy issues that stem from the Amendment Act, related Statutory Instruments and the existing policies within the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

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