A couple of weeks ago I asked myself why home schooling was not an option for so many Zimbabweans, and African’s who did not have money to go to school and those who lived far from school. Instead of walking two hours to school and two hours back, those four hours could be spent learning at home. It is not in our nature to develop such disciple, but I believe this is a very good option for many people. Those in towns, have access to the internet, online lectures, youtube, books, free classes and so much, that they can learn anything they want all from the comport of their homes.
I was reminded of Maud Chifamba, the youngest student to ever enrol into the University of Zimbabwe. Born to a poor family in the Hunters resettlement community in Chegutu, central Zimbabwe, Maud lost her father when she was just five years old. Her mother also passed away last year. Her two brothers, who are general workers at a farm, were unable to pay the fees required to keep her at formal school so Maud started studying vigorously at home all by herself.
Armed with determination, Maud put all her efforts into studying, embarking on a disciplined reading routine that lasted for several hours each day. “I studied very hard,” she remembers. “For the biggest part of the day and even into the night,” adds Maud.
Maud says the death of her parents made her realize that she would have to take her destiny into her own hands.
“It really motivated me to work harder because there was no one to take care of me except myself in the future,” says Maud. “That was … a motivator for me to have something to do with my life.”
Gifted with natural intelligence, Maud’s promising future was apparent from an early age. Her remarkable aptitude impressed her primary school teachers who decided to move her up from Grade 3 to Grade 6.
Aged nine, she took her final primary school examinations, where she obtained top marks for all of her subjects. Lacking financial support to undertake her high school education, Maud studied on her own and completed her Ordinary Level in just two years after skipping two forms.
Her hard work paid off last December when she scored 12 points at her A-Level exams, an astonishing feat that earned the 14-year-old girl a place at the Harare-based University of Zimbabwe.
“It’s phenomenal, especially if you consider that for her A-Levels she was not in formal school,” says Gershem Pasi, the commissioner general of the Zimbabwean Revenue Authority, the body that’s now sponsoring Maud’s university education. “She was just reading by herself at home and her brothers only managed to pay the examination fee.” source: Zimra website.
This story is an example of how determination and sheer can achieve. Most children her age would have waiting for school fees to be available and spend the rest of their lives blaming the world for giving them a bitter pill. The Ministry of Education should encourage home schooling and define standards, checks and balances and support for those who can benefit from such a system.Obviously, there are challenges that need to be dealt with with home schooling, but the school system also has its own challenges. It is all a matter of creating a framework that gives people access and the opportunity to pursue this route.
The world has taken to home schooling, in my opinion, it is a very good option, considering the kind of schooling most children get in schools.
If you are planning on purchasing a new vehicle, it might be a good idea to do so immediately as duties on vehicles in increasing from November. Chinamasa has proposed an increase of a range of vehicle duties to between 40 percent to 60 percent, in a bid to complement the local motor industry.
he development follows disclosures that government officials, including ministers, were bringing commodities into the country without paying duty. This includes luxury motor vehicles and even food.
The surtax, according to Zimra, will be charged on things such as food stuffs, second-hand light passenger motor-vehicles which are more than five years old from the date of original manufacture, and many other commodities.
Reads the notice in part: “…Surtax of 25 percent of the value for duty purposes shall be charged and paid in respect of the importation into Zimbabwe.
“Included in the goods to be taxed are double cab vehicles for the transport of goods, foodstuffs such as fresh, chilled as well as frozen whole chickens, frozen cuts and offals, milk and cream, yoghurt, fermented milk, buttermilk, cheese, bird’s eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and shallots, garlic, carrots and turnips, mixtures of vegetables, other vegetables, peas (excluding garden peas and marple peas), beans, sausages and similar products, uncooked pasta, jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, soup and broth preparations, sweet biscuits, tomato ketchup and other tomato sauces,” the notice added.
The development comes amid a steep rise in prices of locally-assembled vehicles with most Zimbabweans finding it expensive to buy vehicles locally. Most Zimbabweans, given these challenges, have resorted to importing vehicles from countries such as Japan and many others.
Threats by government to ban the importation of used cars caused an influx of cheap imports which flooded Beitbridge Border Post in the past few months. Analysts believe the introduction of surtax might be a measure to control the massive importation of cars without government necessarily banning the used vehicles import.
Early last year, it was reported that the number of cars coming in through Beitbridge stood at 3 150 in January 2011 as compared to 2 310 in January 2010.
Official figures from Zimra indicated that the number of vehicles imported had gone up significantly since January 2011 due to the fact that many importers delayed delivery last year to benefit from the new rates of duty introduced in January this year.
However, Zimbabwe’s local motor industry is already comatose as most people opt for cheaper second hand vehicle imports.
“The application of this measure will take into account the need to protect consumers from unfair pricing and substandard products. Furthermore, government Departments and parastatals will purchase motor vehicles from the local assembly plants in line with the Directive from the Office of the President and Cabinet issued through Circular Number 16 of 2011,” said Chinamasa.