The President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa and the First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa today spent time with the children of Zimbabwe from all corners of the country on the eve of the 38th independence celebrations.

In his address at the occasion, President Mnangagwa said the sacrifices made by the country’s heroes and heroines must inspire young people to safeguard the country’s independence.

He reiterated that his vision is to see Zimbabwe become a middle income economy characterised by decent jobs, sustainable income and free from corruption by 2030.

President Mnangagwa said government is committed to addressing the various challenges impacting in the well being of children, adding that the provision of quality and relevant education will continue to be a key priority of government.

“Government will continue to ensure optimum resources are put in schools in order to improve learning outcomes. Government has procured textbooks for the new curriculum to be distributed to schools, beginning with the disadvantage ones,” said President Mnangagwa.

He challenged the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to ensure that schools have well resourced libraries to encourage research and development.

“To this end I challenge students to develop a reading culture so as to have a broader appreciation of the world around you.

“Do not be problem causers or trouble causers. But be innovators. Train yourself in a wide range of skills for use in future. Our children prepare, prepare, prepare. I call on you to use ICT primarily for studying and research purposes,” the President said.

President Mnangagwa said government with the support of partners is supporting learners through the schools feeding programme to improve their health and learning performance.

“The schools feeding programme has the potential to create linkages with the agricultural value chain,” he said.

Turning to the issue of child abuse, President Mnangagwa said government is concerned with child abuse prevalence, urging parents to ensure their children are protected from all forms of abuse. He had words of advice to the young people:

“Boys and girls you must report any form of abuse, regardless of the perpetrators. Perpetrators of child abuse will be punished accordingly.

Think big and study hard, for there are many opportunities for those who dare to achieve.”

The President urged the children to create a tolerant society with one national anthem and ended his address by quoting Proverbs 9:10 saying the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

In different forms and styles the children stood in front of the President the First Lady Amai Mnangagwa, government ministers and their teachers and officials to show off their skills and talents in song, poetry dance.

 Province by province they took turns, some evening explaining their knowledge of the current dispensation, how it came to be, the leaders, the new cabinet and others in leadership.

It was a day filled with joy and laughter indeed with each province displaying what it is famed for be it Jerusarema Mbende from Mashonaland East,  Amajukwa from Bulawayo and the rest of the other provinces.

 Matabeleland South displayed their cultural heritage and history in poem and drama, while Masvingo performed ‘Madirativhange’.

Dances and poems remembering founding fathers that included the late Vice President Dr Simon Muzenda while a little girl from Masvingo recited a poem “Zimbabwe Yazvarwa Patsva” talking about the educational transformation in Zimbabwe.

Mashonaland West was all out in traditional regalia with the necessary paraphernalia, performing African dances.

The Midlands traditional dancers would not be outdone performing the Mhemberero dance celebration with winnowing baskets for the females and knobkerries for the boys as well as beer clay pots.

Mashonaland Central province with a combined group of marchers stepped on the stage with various messages that included saluting the new leader, gratitude for food security through command agriculture, land reform and different gifts from the province who include Mbuya Nehanda.