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A Study of the Right of Learners and Teachers to Quality Public Education in Zimbabwe
Every day, everywhere in the world, the right of learners and teachers to quality public education is violated (Dorsi, 2014). The quality of education is undermined by a deficit of appropriately qualified teachers more particularly in the rural areas. It has been observed that there has been moral decadence in contemporary society, and a marked decline in the character, moral values and general behaviour of students coming out of our school system. According to Mangena (2006), modern society has become increasingly more corrupt, lawless, violent, undisciplined and permissive, and that the trend is more apparent among the younger generation. There is, thus, an urgent need for the country to strive to provide quality public education and to ensure that the products coming out of schools have moral values and good ethical behaviour. Research studies by Sergiovanni and Starratt (2007) suggest that, among the major school-related factors that influence learner achievement, teachers matter most. Accordingly, the study sought to investigate issues of the right of learners and teachers to quality public education in Zimbabwe. The investigation employed the documentary research method, and used the secondary documentary sources to gather data. The findings revealed that every learner has a right to quality public education provided by quality teachers. The learners’ right to quality public education demands that teachers have a right to quality pre-service teacher education, moral education and in-service teacher education, and continuing professional education, financed by government. Quality education requires quality teachers who also have moral values and good ethical behaviour. The study recommended that government take practical measures to ensure that learners have access to quality education, quality schools staffed by appropriately-qualified school heads and teachers. Finally, a call was made to teacher unions to form a professional teachers’ council and establish a code of professional ethics.