By Daniel Chigundu
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Paul Mavima says there unpopular School Pledge introduced by former Minister Lazarus Dokora needs to be removed and replaced by a National Pledge instead.
Under the School Pledge which replaced the traditional Lord’s Prayer, school children are required to pledge their allegiance to the country’s flag.
However, this development was not received well by most parents affiliated with Christianity, arguing that it was akin to worshipping the flag and does not auger well with their religion.
In Christianity religion, the first two of their 10 Commandments entails them that they should not have any other god except their God and that they should not worship any image, person or anything except their God.
The School Pledge was also thought by some sections of society that it was seeking to propagate Islam in the country’s school curriculum, a belief which was however dismissed by then Minister Dokora as not being true.
Speaking at a New Curriculum Symposium organised by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), Minister Mavima said it was wrong to have a pledge for school children alone.
“I do agree with PTUZ president, the mistake was making it a Schools Pledge, but instead what we need is to make it a National Pledge that includes everyone and not school children alone.
“This is not a new thing, many countries including America have a National Pledge were people pledge their allegiance to the national flag,” he said.
Meanwhile, PTUZ has called on the minister to consider revisiting the New Curriculum arguing that it was creating a lot of problems in the education sector.
The teachers union said some subjects currently have no qualified teachers to take them as the current crop of teachers are educated in them.
Minister Mavima said he would consider all the contributions made by the delegates at the symposium but added that it was wrong to assume everything about the New Curriculum is bad.
Teachers also bemoaned lack of teaching equipment such as textbook for new subjects, textbooks for language subjects, equipment and proper facilities for science subjects.
The minister has however made it clear that the infamous New Curriculum will not be scrapped and can only be improved.