Elections: Educate the voters

27 Jul, 2018 - 00:07 0 Views

The ManicaPost

Morris Mtisi
THE World Cup is over. Attention is back from Russia. How easy people forget and move on! Next for Zimbabwe are harmonised elections. The difference is that the World Cup was sheer entertainment, titanic excitement, and elections are a serious life issue, not a game. What is common though is the usual delightful brouhaha around both of them.

People in Zimbabwe are hyper-excited now, some guessing and others indeed prophesying who is going to win what position. The blood pressures are up for both the voters and candidates. I am sure good doctors have warned their clients to brace up for celebrations of victory or ‘‘condolences’’ if things turn out against expectations across the political divides.

Yes, from the world cup to elections! The same hearts that almost failed when the African teams one by one returned home even before enough warm up participation must be ready for another round of surprises and shocks. The human heart has thick strong muscles but when it has too much to do and bear with, the inevitable happens; heart failure.

I do not have much to say about the world cup. I did not even see one game. I do not like football, I have said this more than enough times, and have never been blessed with one good reason to like it. But the people’s noise and excitement about it intrigues me . . . almost blindly fascinates me.

I dare say I always enjoy the hyper excited fans and team supporters more than the game itself. They get me thinking seriously about human nature. How did God create us so uniquely one by one and yet sometimes we exhibit the same excitement and beautiful commotion? I have never stopped wondering why the world during the world cup does not love God in the same manner even for one day.

How I have always wished! If the world for one day, perhaps just two days, worshipped God, not football, with the same heartfelt, sincere, genuine oomph, Jesus would come back tomorrow to take us to Heaven; yes to Heaven where no teams will go back home before the end of the World Cup; where Maradonna will have nothing to weep about in public, and where Lionel Messi will not miss any penalty; where every team will be victorious and every team number one. You ask me, “How will this happen?”

This is Heaven we are talking about; Heaven where with divine competence the angels will justly and fairly officiate and referee the heavenly world cup, and not the seemingly bought, proud and prejudiced Nestor Pitanas and Zorilla Juans of the Russia 2018 World Cup. Those who have minds to fathom what I am saying, I have no doubt, instantly get the gist of my thought tracks.

Elections are here finally. That is what we are talking about. And thanks be to God!

This column therefore, being an education page, will accordingly not pretend nothing is happening. From the education desk both in The Manica Post and Diamond FM Radio here are my best wishes for 30 July 2018: That the election be smooth and non-violent.

Thank God the new political environment brought about by the incumbent dispensation, thus far, is unbelievably peaceful.

For the past 37 years Zimbabwe was sadly used to a dog-eat-dog environment characterised by bloody abductions and confrontations during elections. We wish that may not only the best, but the wisest candidates win.

That the losers congratulate the winners and together instantly walk and work together for a common purpose. That may the new House of Assembly under the leadership of the winning President be full of women and men who understand the role of education in national development; law-makers and thinkers who can tell the difference between a useless education order and a meaningful system that creates exit profiles fit for purpose.

That all of them realise that while the country cries for jobs, jobs done by educated and qualified workers, especially youths, yield more and better economic outcome for the country. That these new political office bearers realise that the corruption virus did not only infect other sectors sparing the education one.

Corruption lies deep and latent in the education sector as much as it did or does in other sectors.

The government out of the July election must root this chronic impediment out of the education system. While many teachers and officials in higher offices deserve thumbs up and further promotions, why not, many more are either sickeningly corrupt or corruptible. They are very much part of the problem of corruption.

Finally, may the new government that comes out of the July 30 election seriously realise that a sound education curriculum must proffer effective moral rearmament programmes in high schools.

Zimbabwe is on the verge of suffering the explosion of an immorality time-bomb. The education system has developed the best of minds and intellects but in the same grain hatched the worst of hearts and characters.

That has been its Achilles’ heel since the advent of formal education to Africans brought by settler colonialists. The new government must not want future governments after them to be led and supported by thieves, sexual bigots and prostitutes, narcotic drug consumers and pushers. Such rot must remain in the past.

The new dawn must come with an education system with a healthy social function, an education that tenders direction, growth and formal discipline to learning youths; an education that brings with it social efficiency and a platform for utilisation of experience and thinking; an education that presents Guidance and Counselling programmes priding efficacy.

It is only the education sector, where Zimbabwean children and young adults spend most of their early lives that can guide and counsel them towards desired character transformation.

There can and will never be a worse mistake than sustaining an education system that short-sightedly emphasises intellectual development at the peril of character-building or moral rearmament.

Last but not least, it is my sincere wish that the outcome government after July 30 be full of House of Assembly members who will remember the teachers’ salaries and conditions of service needed to enable the noble teaching profession to restore the forgotten legacy of honour and dignity in every sense imaginable.

Teachers make the technocratic vanguard of any country’s national development. Away from and out of politics, they make all politics make sense.

This is all there is to wish for from the education page. Let us meet on the other side of elections on this page and column next week.

Students eligible for voting, enjoy the election! Vote judiciously, wisely and of course safely! Lest we forget! Like the World Cup came and went, there is life after elections! God Bless Zimbabwe!

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