Bravo Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture!
I was delighted to read- not that far back ago- that the Ministry is to embark on a programme to restock secondary schools with textbooks. The Standard of 20-26 March 2011 quoted Minister David Coltart as saying, “We want to have a 1:1 ratios for all textbooks at secondary schools as well so that we can restore excellence in our education sector...” sentiments that justifiably earned him My Week Spot for 21-28 March 2011.
Regular readers of my blog will understand the more obvious reason for my elation. But really it is more than that...
That the government- with the help of NGOs- has already done this for primary schools is commendable. Such initiatives will be to the great benefit of the children of Zimbabwe, innocent victims of an economic crisis not of their own making. I applaud government efforts to improve the educational experience of the Zimbabwean schoolchild in whose hands our country’s tomorrow rests.
As a writer I am also pleased because the government’s programme will serve to curb the photocopying of prescribed study texts, an alarming practice (particularly when you’re a writer) which for some reason or other has not seemed to warrant the same media glare as movie, music piracy yet it too is an infringement of someone’s copyright.
My hope is that the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture will now progress to funding the making of films adapted from writing by local novelists, playwrights and storytellers, like Belonging, the BBC radio play I am presently campaigning to have made into an animated feature film. Needless to say, such projects would provide incomes and exposure for local artistes across the board; actors, musicians, artists , graphic designers, not to mention the wide range of technical staff. For an unknown in a disadvantaged community, it could be the beginning of a livelihood. Hollywood blockbuster funding is not necessary when it can all be done locally, a Zimbabwean film, by Zimbabweans for Zimbabweans- and the world. The talent is here. All that is required is the financial and logistical assistance to uplift it.