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Catching them young through schools quiz

By Tadiwa Nyatanga

The national schools quiz finals were recently held in Harare with schools that made it at provincial levels contesting.

The competitions bring together learners from across the country not only to compete for prizes based on their knowledge of life skills, sexuality, HIV and Aids and other development issues but also to demonstrate the necessity of participation as a key pillar of the multi-sectoral response to HIV and Aids.

NAC has over the years partnered with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry and other partners to implement a robust all-inclusive life skills, sexuality, HIV and Aids programme in the guidance and counselling learning area that is being delivered in a structured manner from the lowest level of ECD up to ‘A’ Level.

Guest of Honour, PEPFAR country coordinator Kristine Clark commended NAC for putting up a classic event where healthy competition prevailed. She emphasised on the need to focus on adolescent girls and young women in the response to HIV.

“They are a vulnerable group and are most affected by new infections, not only in Zimbabwe but in Southern Africa,” Clark said.

In a speech read on his behalf by NAC’s national accountant Godfrey Muzari, NAC CEO Bernard Madzima said: “We are glad to know that the current Grade 7 stream is sitting the first examination in the subject this year.”

Madzima went on to thank partners in the response to HIV for their support.

“A special mention goes to UNFPA who have been supporting these competitions and in the development of teaching and learning materials since 2014 in a big way,” he said.

Permanent Secretary in the Primary and Secondary Education ministry Tumisang Thabela, in a speech read on her behalf by the acting chief director for Curriculum Development and Technical Services, Mr Mumha, applauded the format of the competition.

“It is so exciting to learn that the National School Quiz takes the practical balancing approach in deciding on the winning schools to compete at national level. It is very encouraging that 50% of the total scores come from the practical application of what life skills, sexuality, HIV and AIDS and general wellbeing for every learner entails,” Thabela said.

She thanked NAC, partners and sister ministries for working with the ministry in producing wholesome individuals for the society.

“As we work together, we have realised that indeed it takes a village to raise a child,” Thabela said.

NAC’s national youth coordinator Beauty Nyamwanza said she was happy with the way teachers and students were taking the competitions seriously.

She said that in the spirit of leaving no one behind, for the past three years there has been a category for those with hearing impairment in the competitions and this resonates well with the newly launched World Aids campaign theme that calls for ending of inequalities.

In the finals, St Faith’s High School representing Manicaland province clinched the first prize, with Mosi-a-tunya High school from Matabeleland North province on second position while Bulawayo province’s Pumula High School came third.

  • Tadiwa Nyatanga is the NAC communications officer.

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