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Dokora a square peg in a round hole

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe inadvertently popularised “weevils” in Zimbabwe after he launched a blistering attack on people he accused of seeking to destroy Zanu PF from within two weeks ago.

FROM THE EDITOR WALTER MARWIZI’S DESK

Suddenly weevils, devil incarnates and other derogatory words gained currency on social media, pubs and kombis. Whoever was suspected of working at cross purposes with others was considered a weevil or a devil incarnate, another term used by Mugabe to blast Information minister Jonathan Moyo for allegedly using the public media to fuel divisions in the party.

The Minister of Presidential Affairs, Didymus Mutasa added to the intrigue by suggesting that “gamatox” be used to exterminate the troublesome insects from Zanu PF.

Away from the convoluted world of Zanu PF politics, some teachers who hardly get a platform like Mugabe to broadcast their opinions, also quietly coined their own word Dofo-ra [ignoramus] to refer to the Minister of Education Lazarus Dokora whom they accused of destroying Zimbabwe’s education “weevil style”.

With his unmistakable goatee, the Minister of Education has become a poster boy of ridicule among teachers, angry with the way he is trying to “reinvent the wheel” in the education sector.

It seems, Dokora is ruffling feathers with teachers and headmasters from Zambezi to Limpopo with reforms that only he himself seems to understand and believe can help transform Zimbabwe’s education system for the better.

Unlike his predecessors, Dokora has banned vacation school; he does not want to see parents encouraging teachers to put in extra effort through paying attractive incentives to them. He prefers that schools use the legal process to recover fees from defaulting parents, rather than sending children away.

I don’t believe the rumour doing the rounds that Dokora doesn’t want teachers to be paid when they are on holiday or that sports be banned from the curriculum. That would be the height of absurdity and I am certain the honourable minister would also reject such ideas.

Whatever Dokora’s motives, they are clearly harmful to the education sector if one listens to the concerns coming from schools.

Traditionally, teachers tend to hold ministers of education in high regard: remember the remarkable Fay Chung, Dzingai Mutumbuka and David Coltart who mobilised the donor community to supply millions of textbook to our impoverished schools.

But in less than a year in charge, Dokora already ranks as the worst minister of education since independence. Instead of focusing on their classroom duties, angry teachers are busy drafting papers exposing the flaws in the minister’s policies and are using every opportunity to denounce him. Last week headmasters sounded an alarm when they attended the National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) conference held in Victoria Falls under the theme “Education: an Invaluable Investment”.

“We have resolved to seek audience with President Robert Mugabe because we don’t know what our minister is thinking, we have made every effort to meet him but each time he has ignored us and the issues we are trying to highlight to him,” said a teachers’ representative.

The headmasters’ lack of confidence in their minister clearly shows there is a leadership crisis in the ministry of education.

We all know Zimbabwe’s education system is broken down, but the last thing we expect to see is a minister who will further break it into pieces. The state of affairs in the ministry calls for Mugabe to act on the matter. The President cannot be seen to be only denouncing weevils that are destroying Zanu PF, without equally doing the same to ministers like Dokora who have caused widespread rancour in schools.

For how long can Mugabe allow Dokora to implement his ill-advised and half-baked policies? Do we need a minister who believes only himself has the right answers to the problems confronting our education system, ignoring the advice given by professionals who have dedicated their lives to teaching our children for little gain?

There is no denying Dokora is like a square peg that can’t fit in a round hole. It’s either he starts consulting teachers or he should abandon his ill thought out reforms which will only serve to destroy the gains made in the education sector. We wait for a cabinet reshuffle with bated breath.

24 Responses to Dokora a square peg in a round hole

  1. Pam June 22, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    That minister fo sure is the worst minister

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  2. Davie June 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    Time not on your side

  3. gumbo June 22, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    anorwara uyo

  4. moyo melusi June 22, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    I think Chinotimba can fare better than this man remember grade 7 yataimukira kunyora 2 subjects wozoti 4 subjects dzoita pasina extra lesson….you need some kind of self evaluation minister

  5. Keresiman June 22, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    Only the unemployed and those who dont understand the education system support him.

  6. Pamelat June 22, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    He hates to see the teacher earn a living through the profession hence the banning of extra lesson, incentives, holiday lessons.
    But who on earth goes to work on community service?
    Isnt the teacher suppose to earn a living.
    And wasnt the above request raised by the very parents who saw the need for such in education sector?
    This man is crazy and has an unknown inferiority syndrome that only needs a psychaetrist.
    He must go or be arrested.

  7. Xul fees June 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    The headmasters resolutions are very serious and need to be addressed urgently.
    The minister and the Pem sec must go without negotiation.

    • bobsled June 23, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

      Your analysis is a bit scary. You want to see problems in individuals not systems…perm sec and minister can go but Zimbabwe’s problems will stay because they are systemic, little will change for the better, if any at all

  8. Warrior June 22, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    How does the child benefit from removing incentives, Cambridge exams, extra lessons, holiday lessons?
    The mimister thinks educatiion evolves around him and his personal egos and insecurities.

  9. Maninji June 22, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    The key stakeholder in the education of a child runs in this order.
    1. The child
    2. The teacher/school
    3. Parent/family of the child
    4. Peers and community
    5. Other factors
    ……
    79. Ministers ego, fears and insecurity.
    But according to Dokora number 79is the first stakeholder.

  10. Kankaring June 22, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    I dont see how incentives are divisive according to the minister because
    1. Its the parents who decide to give as per their ability.
    2. No community is forced to pay them.
    3. On the contrary,no urban teacher has ever complained that 99% of rural teachers have free housing or no transport which actually come from parents and community contributions.
    This man is a weevil.

    • bobsled June 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

      The minister could have made mistakes here and there but the principle of banning incentives has its justifications. You do not realize how much inequality you are advocating through the use of the so called incentives and how that distorts curriculum implementation. We are a mere developing economy and we cannot afford to leave development of children to market forces….how did teachers survive before incentives???

      • joseph June 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

        teachers were well renumerated by then thus there were no extra lessons but now they are poorly renumerated thus incertives were valuable

      • Tamama June 23, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

        They used to get a salary that would sustain them, even during the Smith Regime teachers were earning a reputable salary that gave them status and respect within the community they taught and that alone was enough force to get them on their toes without incentives.

      • Tamama June 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

        Dokora (Dofora) ma offside ake awandisa and he acts like he hasn’t been in the system before. 1. Paakapinda mu office akatanga kutiMA GRADE 2 ACHANYORA VHUNZO kkkkkkkkkkkkk zvine brain here izvozvo? ( wasting resources on grade 2 pupils here akomana? Dai akatambotaura nezve JC exams, zvaigona kuita sense. 2 Hanzi NO CIVICS DAY muzvikoro, these civics days helped pakuti twumacents twaibiswa nevana twose twuya; mari yacho would be used to buy twumwe twu ma invisible items pachikoro such as sport uniforms transort etc. 3. NO VACATION SCHOOL, this helped a lot of pupils especially vaya vanosaririra during the normal term kuti vate catch up ne syllabus. 4. NO SALARIES FOR TEACHERS DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, aaah, hooo, nekuti nhasi iwe wazoitwa minister, ko paya pawaivewo teacher wakadii kuzvitaura izvozvo? Dofo remunhu, kana yakadaro haina kuipa, tongoti no salaries for the whole ministry during school holidays, including the minister. nxaaaaaa!

  11. vee z vee z June 23, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    makwikwi

  12. dhlams June 23, 2014 at 3:19 am #

    agric to b written this year 5 subjects not 4

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  14. CLEMENT June 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    surelythe education system is at the brink of collapsing

  15. jackovik June 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    He is right, manga majaira kubira vabereki. Kubvira kumaextra lessons musingadi kuita basa panguva yebasa, maincentives, maentrance test fees nemavaccation. I support the Minister on these all.

  16. Karinga June 23, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    Incentives were never compulsory plus were not forced.
    Its actually parents thru agms who sided paying of incentives.
    Any community tht cudnot afford were exempted so where is your beef here?
    2. It is just jealous and a lie to say incentives are divisive.
    In truth even after incentive a rural teacher has more disposable income than an urban teacher even after subtracting the rural allowance.

  17. dofo June 29, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Seems like this guy z full of sh**t ; some of my colleagues wer like he z gnna c t thru the results. Nobody wanna wek fo community service. Worst ever eduxn minister .Nxaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Disgusting

  18. Matt June 29, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    Dofora kuchengeta ndebvu hakusi kungwara

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