This blog was first published on the Education Out Loud website.
In 2020, the implementation of the new Education Amendment Act begun in Zimbabwe. The Act addresses important issues not included in previous legislation such as corporal punishment, disability and girls’ education following pregnancy.
ECOZI, the National Education Coalition of Zimbabwe funded by Education Out Loud, was one of the lead organizations engaging with the government and preparing amendments to the previous Education Act – making sure that the new Act was inclusive and secured rights for marginalized children.
It was a victory for ECOZI and Zimbabwe when the new Act was passed. But a problem remained. Advocacy and Communications Officer with ECOZI, Mercy Mangwana Mubayiwa, explains:
“It was not well known amongst most Zimbabweans - they had no idea what was going on with the new amendment. What were the changes? Which rights were ensured? We wanted to make sure that they knew that”.
In Zimbabwe, it takes long for news of policy changes to travel to remote regions. Changes are published in press releases by the authorities resulting in little if any engagement with the people affected by the changes. ECOZI wanted to address this:
“We thought; we need to popularize the Education Amendment Act. We need to break down the Act. The best way to do that was to engage with people through mass media. We decided, we would create a talk show” Mercy Mubayiwa says.