Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 provides for Quality Education and highlights the importance of acquiring quality education as the foundation for improving people’s lives and sustainable development. In pursuit of this goal, Heal Zimbabwe conducted a Social Accountability training for seven School Development Committees (SDCs) from seven schools in Makoni District. Schools that took part in the training include are, Chinyama, Chinyamahumba, Chikuruwa, Gandanzara, Dope and Gwidza. A total of 48 SDC committee members were trained. The objective of the training was to strengthen and enhance grassroots level policy engagement and accountability that help inculcate a culture of transparency and accountability among leaders.
SDC’s help in the community management of schools which contribute towards the academic performance of learners and also serve as an avenue that help devolve decision making processes. Their main objective is to promote, improve and encourage development and maintenance of schools. In his opening remarks at the social accountability training, Heal Zimbabwe Programmes Officer, Donald Marimbe highlighted the importance of education and pointed that the right to education was provided for in the constitution. “Education is a universal right that must be accorded to every child. Section 75 of the constitution provides for the right to education hence every child must be accorded that right hence as SDC’S you must ensure that this right is realised”, he said. The training covered issues such as forms of accountability, leadership, good governance and the pitfalls of unaccountable leadership. The major highlight of the training was the realisation that of the seven SDCs represented, only two had SDC constitutions that clearly outlined the roles and responsibilities of the various office holders within SDCs. As part of recommendations, the SDC were advised to request for SDC manuals from the schools since every school was given two copies by the Ministry of Education. SDCs also vowed to complement government’s efforts towards the realisation of Sustainable Development goal number 4 which prioritises quality education as the bedrock of any progressive community.
The Social Accountability trainings are part of Heal Zimbabwe’s advocacy initiative that seeks to promote social cohesion in local communities. Cohesive communities help establish harmony so that people are tolerant of each other and live together in peace. Added to this, the trainings also seek to bring the voices of citizens into governance, enabling citizens to monitor and provide feedback on the delivery of services, and helping to build trust between citizens and government. In light of this, Heal Zimbabwe will continue to campaign robustly for a national dialogue that must be premised on adequate inclusion right from the grassroots. More importantly is inclusion of women in the dialogue since they have suffered the brunt of political violence during successive episodes of political conflict in the country.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe