On World Children’s Day children in Zimbabwe call for inclusive education
Beitbridge, 23 November 2023 – Today Zimbabwe commemorated World Children’s Day in Beitbridge, highlighting the right of every child to quality education. More than 1000 children gathered at the Malala Primary School to celebrate the rights of children, together with the Guest of Honor Honorable Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Hon. Rtd General Dr. C.G.N. Chiwenga, and to reflect on inclusive education. The day ended with the lightening of the Beitbridge Border Post, as a call for the continued attention for the rights of children.
World Children’s Day is a day for and by children when they share their views and ideas on matters affecting them. Every year around 20 November World Children’s Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Convention on the Rights of the child. On that day duty bearers - including Governments - are reminded to take the opinions of children seriously.
Zimbabwe joined in 1990 as one of the first countries the Convention on the Rights of the Child, thereby making a strong commitment to protect and promote the rights of all children in Zimbabwe. In 2013, the newly drafted Constitution included a unique component, a Children’s Bill of Rights, ensuring that children’s rights were a fundamental part of the guiding principles of Zimbabwe. Since then, the Country has adopted several legal instruments to further promote the rights of children, protect children from any harm and abuse and ensure children can express their opinion, including through the Child Parliament and the network of Junior Councilors.
This year’s celebration of World Children’s Day in Zimbabwe focused on inclusive education. Ahead of the commemoration, a consultation with children was organized. Participating children called education the most important right. Most children highlighted they like their school and said they are eager to participate more in the organization of their schooling environment.
Zimbabwe has a high net enrollment ratio in primary school. Nine out of ten children of primary school age are in school. The Government of Zimbabwe is working closely with UNICEF and partners, including the Global Partnership for Education and the Government of the United Kingdom, to address the education challenges in Zimbabwe and promote equitable access to education for all.
Poverty and disabilities are among the main triggers for children at primary school not to be in school. Children with disabilities are often deprived of their right to and in education as schools and teachers are lacking the resources, trainings, and skills to ensure inclusive education. It is estimated that only 10% of children with disabilities are today in school. To tackle poverty, the Government of Zimbabwe, UNICEF, and partners are rolling out a cash transfer programme aimed at reducing the vulnerability of households and guaranteeing access to good nutrition and education for their children. The programme is also implemented in Beitbridge. Celebrating this World Children’s Day in the border city of Beitbridge is symbolic. As the right to education has no borders, and that all children - without any discrimination – should be ensured their right to education, including children on the move.
As a symbol for the call for a continued attention for the rights of children, the celebration of World Children’s Day in Beitbridge ended by the lightning in blue of the border post by the Guest of Honor Honorable Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Hon. Rtd General Dr. C.G.N Chiwenga. Zimbabwe was hereby joining many countries in turning iconic sites and buildings blue to commemorate the anniversary date of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.