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CWA # 339, 17 September 2020

GLOBAL PROTEST MOVEMENTS
Students as agents of change: Protest movements in Zimbabwe

  Chavindi Weerawansha

According to the news recorded by the Chronicle news reporter, it is said that there was an unusual protest by the school students from of Njube High School which took place with a number more than a hundred and fifty. The reason for the protest was the hiking of school fees which was initially $92 but has been increased up to $440.

Introduction

A protest which was highly unlikely occurred in January 2020, by school students from Njube Secondary School in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The main cause of the protest was the hiking of school fees and the strikes accompanied by the teachers which brought into light the quality of their education system. There were a few more protests that followed this. The right to education is compulsory according to the constitutions of the country but the problem lies when realistically looking at their education systems. It is of absolute necessity that the government provides a helping hand to students who are especially beginners, as they are the forerunners of the revolutionary world.

The 21st century learners should be the change agents of their region. In order to bring meaningful changes, they have to bring forth the essential skills that are required this century, such as communication and collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, creativity and imagination, digital literacy, and soft skills. This could be only achieved by catering quality and proper education to them. The Njube school students are voicing up for this quality that has been drifted away from them. Quality education would impact on the socio-cultural, economic movements of the country. Moreover, it would flourish job opportunities where unemployment is one of the crying evils of the time. In fact, they have the dimensions in identifying the capacity of being the next change.

Background

Student protests are rampant worldwide and it has begun to define our contemporary times. These protests led by students especially in South Africa have led to extremely violent crashes among universities and finally claimed the closure of their educational institutions within the nation (Rao & Wasserman, 2017). Zimbabwe has been a country of having an extended history of student activism and recently a protest originated by some school students in Bulawayo. These young students were protesting for a more quality education system to be implemented in their education system. Njube Secondary School in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe began a protest about the hiking of school fees by their authorities. According to the news recorded by the Chronicle news reporter, it is said that there was an unusual protest by the school students from of Njube High School which took place with a number more than a hundred and fifty. The reason for the protest was the hiking of school fees which was initially $92 but has been increased up to $440. The protest is said to have been led by one of their school teachers. “The science teacher, Mr Brian Mutsiba, who incited the students to protest that their teachers had abandoned lessons due to poor salaries, is now on the run.”

Click the PDF file to read the full essay. It was first published in the NIAS Quarterly on Contemporary World Affairs, Vol 2, Issues 2&3. 

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