The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has encouraged older people who missed an opportunity to attend school earlier in their lives not to shy away from exercising their right to education as the constitution makes a provision for such.
Ms Prisca Dube ZLHR programs officer told Dakiwe villagers in Lupane on Thursday to approach school authorities and make arrangements to attain an education as this is the best way to develop a nation.
“The right to education is for everyone,” said Dube.
“If you feel like you need to attain an education, it is allowed to approach school authorities and explain your situation. The constitution has provisions for such”.
She urged parents to ensure children exercise their right to education as this is the most important way to develop a nation.
“Education is very important for our children,” said Dube.
“Keeping them at home is a huge disadvantage to them as well as a violation of a constitutional right.
“Our country is need of doctors, engineers among other learned people. Depriving them of this right is a disservice to the development of the country”.
She went on to say: “Schools must refrain from chasing children from schools due to none payment of school fees neither is it allowed to withhold results of pupils. It is a parent who owes the school, not the child. ZLHR intervenes when such scenarios occur”.
Dube urged local authorities to desist from mixing politics and constitutional issues to enable all villagers to benefit fully from government-funded programs.
She said the government has embarked on feeding schemes for children, the elderly and the less privileged.
“The government has embarked on programs to give food to the elderly within communities,” she added.
“Local authorities should not segregate people according to political affiliations. Anything to do with politics mustn’t be mixed with execution of duties. Whether people voted for a party parallel to yours is not important. As a leader, you need to ensure everyone fully benefits from their right to food”.
Ms Dube reiterated on the need for mothers to attain birth certificates for their children within six weeks of delivery so as to enable provisions to be made adequately.
“A birth certificate is more than just a document to enable enrollment at schools for children. It is a form of registration of the child to national records such that when policies are made they can be catered for,” she told the gathering.
“Shortage of resources is sometimes caused by the fact that not everyone in the country is registered. All those who have their children’s birth records withheld by hospitals must pay a search fee of $10 and be given their documents. Then they can make payment plans to clear their debts”.
Villagers expressed gratitude on the knowledge imparted to them and vowed to exercise their rights as provided by the constitution.