The Panel discussion commenced with introductions and welcome note from Conrad Mwanza (Panel Chair) followed by presentations from Suku Bailey (Zimbabwe Diaspora Focus Group), Tawanda Chiwira (Zimbabwe Diaspora Olympics Support Network) and Laura Broadhurst(CARA). Senator David Coltart and Minister of Education and Culture (Zimbabwe) gave a key note address on the state of education in Zimbabwe and his vision on what role the Diaspora can play to assist in reforming Zimbabwe’s Education sector. The discussion was followed up with a question/answers session and concluded with networking for delegates to exchange notes and engage in discussion with Senator David Coltart informally.
Senator David Coltart highlighted the problems that have decimated Zimbabwe’s education sector indicating that lack of priorities in this sector has undermined reform efforts including lack of critical support from the international community. He said his ministry created an Education Transitional Fund which is administered with the support of UNICEF which has assisted to date in providing essential text books to primary school children and has also been produced in seven ethnic languages. The Minister highlighted critical shortage of teachers and need for infrastructure rehabilitation as well to bring capacity and skills that are competitive globally.
KEY ISSUES HIGHLIGHTED
- Cabinet approved the medium term strategic policy framework accessible on the ministry’s website.
- Reforming Curriculum and rehabilitation of institutional facilities in schools.
- Focus on the development of sports and education facilities.
- Emphasis on comparative advantage with other countries.
- Supporting Disadvantaged children to access quality education linked to sports.
- Lessons learned from the London 2012 Olympics and how successful countries are supporting and developing talented sports persons such as the UK Sports Lottery funding.
- Enticing Diasporas who have acquired advanced educational skills abroad to impart knowledge and ideas.
- Call for the Diaspora to assist in creating a professionals and skills database to tap into for consultancy and best practice sharing of ideas.
- Call for the Diaspora to create a Special Purpose Vehicle or Trust that targets mobilising resources and a one stop portal of attracting support and bridging access to information, critical needs and direction to potential sponsors.
The Minister set up conditions for 2 UK based committees to be set up, one for sports and one for Education, It was also suggested that as they was a committee already set up which dealt with the Olympics support, the committee could be extended to also include sports in general
Conditions the Minister set
1. That the committee is a registered entity in the UK
2. That it’s non Partisan
3. That is representative and inclusive
Members of the Diaspora who are interested in joining the committees and becoming trustees should email Josh at email@example.comAnother public meeting will be held to formalise the committee. ZBN was tasked to coordinate modalities of setting up the Trust and engaging with Experts in Education, Sports and Business to champion the Special Purpose Vehicle.
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