Wednesday, April 09, 2008

LETTERS - Destiny, Education

The future is ours
By Isaac M Kabumbu
Tuesday April 08, 2008 [04:00]

"History is indeed made up of significant events which shape our future and outstanding leaders who influence our destiny" (The Post editorial, April, 6, 2008). Martin Luther King Jr. is such a an outstanding leader in the significant events of the black Americans and beyond, who has influenced the destiny of the world.

Remembering him is like looking back into the future as Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu once said.
In 1991, the dawn of multiparty democracy was another significant event in our country that aimed at shaping our future.

One wonders if at all we can equally claim to have outstanding leaders in the likes of Jesus Christ, Pope John Paul II, Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Marcus Garvey, Ernesto Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela.

Such great leaders were and are simply inspired by the desire to serve the inexhaustible significance of human dignity. Human dignity knows no category of people, it is naturally immutable, indispensable and divinely willed.

Human beings are what Latin names refer to as the imego Dei (The image of God). All those inspired by that desire are definitely going to shape our future and positively influence our destiny as a society; a society determined to develop itself and cannot rely on utopia.

In genuine dignity, human beings identify their true meaning and destiny. It is not surprising that it is through work that human beings find their dignity as well. They are called to share in God's creative activity.

So shaping our future and determining the course of our destiny lies in working cooperatively. This is what even the Zambia Episcopal Conference called for in their February 1992 pastoral letter entitled The Future is Ours.

The bishops called both citizens and the government to mutual responsibility, accountability, transparency and respect for human rights and dignity.

They said so because the dawn of democratic governance requires shared responsibility in order to claim our future. Our future does not necessarily depend on the outside world, unless only to the extent that we are globally interdependent.

50% plus 1
By Margaret
Wednesday April 09, 2008 [04:00]

Reference is made to Neo Simutanyi's analysis of Zimbabwe's elections (Post, April 7). I am also very concerned at what is going on in Zimbabwe.

But I am surprised that an expert on politics has repeated the common misunderstanding (also in an article in the Post of Monday) of "fifty per cent plus one vote", which means a clear majority. This is not the same as "51 per cent".

In the case of Zimbabwe, if there were for example 3,686,752 votes in the presidential election, a clear majority would be 1,843,377 votes, 50 per cent being 1,843,376.

If Tsvangirai got 50.3 per cent as published by monitors and his party, this would be 1,854,436, which is 11,060 votes more than 50 per cent. It does not need to be 51 per cent to be a clear majority.

Our draft constitution makes it very clear that a clear majority is "50 per cent plus one vote".

Standard of education
By Mwewa Yamba
Wednesday April 09, 2008 [04:00]

Many parents especially those who send their children to private schools may not know how ineffective the education in government schools has become. The authorities do not care especially that large chunks of the funds used in mismanaging the schools come from parents through the Parent Teachers Associations (PTAs).

To confirm this misuse of the funds, one just has to look at the priorities of most schools now; just to buy vehicles instead of building the basic infrustructure such as science laboratories and libraries and stocking them with the basic requisites for the welfare of the pupils.

Why is there no shame on the part of the government when it claims to be working towards attaining the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).

One would have thought that education would be prioritised to accelerate development in the nation. Without shame, ministry officials are normally in the forefront making statements as though they care about the education being offered.

Look at the training programmes for teacher education. The ministry does not seem to know its human resource requirements especially in schools.

Instead, teachers are using their own initiative to further their studies but with a lot of hindrances that are not even understood by the permanent secretary.

Sanity needs to be established in the education sector or else our dream of attaining the MDGs will remain a pipe dream.

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