Zimbabwe Teachers Diaspora Forum (ZTDF) commemorates ‘The Day of the African Child’.
16 June 2021
The pro-poor Zimbabwe Teachers Diaspora Forum joins the rest of Africa in celebrating the courage and determination reflected by the well-co-ordinated Action Committee of the Soweto Students Representative Council (SSRC) when they peacefully confronted the satanic apartheid regime resisting ‘The Afrikaans Medium Decree of 1974’. The decree forced all black schools to use Afrikaans and English in a 50-50 mix as languages of instruction. On this day, 16 June, revolutionary learners gathered at Orlando stadium to calmly protest against the insensitive government in South Africa. It began as a protest by thousands, mostly students, fighting against the government’s insistence that Afrikaans – a language of the white minority should be compulsory in Mathematics and Social Sciences.
As an organisation for educators in the diaspora, we are humbled by the sacrifice of these oppressed learners who were victims of a policy of separatism based on skin colour. The organisation champions quality education to everyone and creation of opportunities in the post-secondary era. The Zimbabwe Teachers Diaspora Forum salutes South Africa, Namibia and many other countries in the SADC and beyond for ensuring that there is free quality education aimed at transforming the livelihoods of their children. It is quite pathetic that in the motherland 23% of children have dropped out of school because of economic instability caused by bad governance. The suicidal policies in the education sector are aided by the anti-people annual paltry budget of 13% received consistently for the past three years.
Furthermore, in a purported democratic dispensation and post colonial Africa, it is quite sad that we continue to see the dreams and aspirations of vulnerably poor children and those with the working class backgrounds suffocate intellectually as irresponsible governments go on to display a cold shoulder in investing in the socio-economic liberation of our children. The students were not only angered by the segregatory 1974 decree but also the deteriorating school infrastructure and overcrowded classrooms contributed meaningfully to the students’ frustration. Schools for blacks were never upgraded so that they could remain inferior to the white minority. ZimbabweTeachersDiasporaForum lauds the Soweto Youth Uprising as it became the zenith or turning point in the battle against apartheid which sought to undermine the indigenous South African Child.
Moreover, the pro-poor organisation appeals to all the governments in Africa to commit and dedicate themselves in investing in the education of Black children who were butchered at Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Orlando. The right to basic education is a universal fundamental right that should be enjoyed by all and sundry. The Coordinator mentioned a Fifteen-year-old Hastings Ndlovu who was probably shot before Hector Pieterson although he died later as a paragon of virtue and source of inspiration to all educators and learners. The high levels of human butchery perpetrated by the apartheid regime which left 200 innocent children or more killed in cold blood when over 20 000 learners marched against colonial masters reveals how sadist was the regime. This must compel independent African countries to guarantee the child’s right to free basic education.
Moreso, as educators in the fatherland and the diaspora, it’s our social obligation to support our learners against detrimental policies in the education fraternity. We pledge to defend the rights of our learners and teachers so that quality is guaranteed in our schools. What boggles the minds of teachers in the diaspora is that there is no difference between the apartheid regime and the so-called Second Republic. Infact, masters of apartheid appear to be toddlers in terms of repression of the voices of dissent. The killings of innocent citizens protesting against suicidal policies has become a national religion in our motherland. Right now we are commemorating this fundamental day of the African Child when our youth leader Cde Makomborero Haruzivishe is languishing in prison for mere whistling in town when murderers and gold smugglers are walking Scot free.
The illegal convictions of social democrats unravels that the Zanupf government is worse than apartheid, colonialism and assimilation and association. We have persecution by prosecution of our youthful leaders who are unemployed after acquiring their tertiary education certificates, diplomas and degrees. Zimbabwe Teachers Diaspora Forum continue to witness inhuman treatment of young opposition activists, journalists and human rights defenders such as Hon Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marova, Takudzwa Ngadziore , Womberaiishe Nhende , Terrence Manjengwa, Allan Moyo ,Nancy Njenge, Paidamoyo Masaraure, Tafadzwa Chiriga, Godfrey Kurauone, Commander Obey’Luther’Sithole, Ngonidzashe Mafumba, Prosper Tiringindi only to mention but few. These are young and energetic youths who are arbitrarily arrested and they endured long pre trial detention for speaking for the voiceless citizenry.
In a nutshell, our organisation desires to see better livelihoods of the youths in Africa not vice-versa. We demand free education and reasonable salaries for educators. We shall not tire because we want to go back to Zimbabwe to assist our own than to continue working outside our beloved country, developing foreign countries. The governments must take the youths seriously because they deserve quality lives and education.The sacrifice by the Soweto Students Representative Council who watered the streets of Soweto with their for the liberation of the African Child must be honoured and respected.
We urge African governments to support the youths in schools, in their homes so that their lives can be transfigured.
Inserted by Robson Ruhanya