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to education in the final draft Constitution
February 01, 2013
Now that the final
of the Constitution is out, the SST notes with satisfaction that
the right to education remains enshrined in the soon-to-be supreme
law of the land under the Bill of Rights.
is part of the United Nations (UN) and sits in the United Nations
General Assembly (UNGA) and as such, is bound by the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, has finally shown
serious commitment towards domesticating the right to education
by incorporating it into its municipal law as directed by the UDHR.
In fact progressive nations have over the years incorporated into
their national laws most of the rights enshrined in the UDHR in
line with the last paragraph of the UDHR preamble which states verbatim:
Therefore the General Assembly proclaims this Universal Declaration
of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples
and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ
of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive
by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and
freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international,
to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance,
both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the
peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."
The final draft
has domesticated Article 26(1) of the UDHR which states that every
individual has got a right to education and it goes on to state
that education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental
stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory while technical
and professional education shall be made generally available and
higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis
of merit. Section 75 of the final draft reads as follows;
75 (1) Every
citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to -
(a) A basic
State-funded education, including adult basic education; and
education, which the State, through reasonable legislative and other
measures, must make progressively available and accessible.
(2) Every person
has the right to establish and maintain, at their own expense, independent
educational institutions of reasonable standards, provided they
do not discriminate on any ground prohibited by this Constitution.
(3) A law may
provide for the registration of educational institutions referred
to in subsection (2) and for the closing of any such institutions
that do not meet reasonable standards prescribed for registration.
(4) The State
must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the
limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive
realisation of the right set out in subsection (1).
To this end
the SST would soon begin to campaign for a YES vote in support of
the Final Draft as part of on-going preparations
for the referendum which is most likely to be held in March.
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