21.07.2017 - UNESCO Office in Harare

Right to education for Zimbabweans is not negotiable: Vice President Mnangagwa

Vice President Mnangagwa addressing delegates

Zimbabwe’s Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the right to education for Zimbabweans is not negotiable and is indispensable for the achievement of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET) and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Speaking at the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) commemorations held at Chipindura High School in Bindura on 20th July 2017, the Vice President said the government remains committed to upholding the citizens’ right to education.

“Government will continue to work towards the attainment of the sustainable development goal number 4 of the agenda 2030,” said the Vice President.

He encouraged stakeholders to make long term strategic investments in the education sector for the country to realise objectives espoused in the ZIMASSET and SDG4 on quality education.

Speaking at the same event, UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, Prof. Hubert Gijzen called for greater accountability and citizen participation in education policy making and monitoring of progress in the implementation of SDG 4.

Prof. Gijzen said failing to deliver on education puts the fulfilment of the entire SDG agenda at risk. He added that girls and boys are the primary audience of SDG4.

“Agenda 2030 is your agenda, you are the future, you are the SDG generation,” he said to the young people at the event.

The Regional Director said education is a fundamental human right and an enabling right.

“To fulfil this right, Zimbabwe must ensure universal access to inclusive and equitable quality education and learning, at least nine years of which should be free and compulsory, leaving no one behind,” he said.

Prof. Gijzen noted that all partners must be held accountable and urged the government to establish procedures to genuinely involve all stakeholders in the planning, implementation and monitoring of education policies and strategies.

The Global Action Week for Education is an international annual campaign led by the Global Campaign for Education with support from UNESCO. GAWE 2017 was celebrated globally from 23-29 April 2017 to raise awareness of the importance of education for achieving sustainability and the commitments made by all to reach the global education goal by 2030. This year’s theme, ‘Accountability for SDG 4 and Citizen Participation’ emphasizes the importance of transparent, accountable and participatory governance for delivering on the full agenda of Sustainable Development Goal 4.

While UNESCO has a global mandate to lead and coordinate the implementation of SDG4, the main responsibility for implementing the agenda lies with governments, with UNESCO and partners providing support through coordinated policy advice, technical assistance, capacity development and monitoring of progress at global, regional and national levels.

Zimbabwe’s belated 2017 GAWE commemorations ran under the customized theme, "Stand up for Equitable, Quality and Lifelong Education: Everyone's Responsibility". The celebrations were attended by several high level dignitaries and community members including Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Dr Lazarus Dokora, his deputy Professor Paul Mavhima and Mashonaland Central Minister of State, Advocate Martin Dinha.

For more information, please contact: c.medel-anonuevo(at)unesco.org or l.halimani(at)unesco.org. 

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