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report of the Portfolio Committee on Youth Development, Gender and
report of the Portfolio Committee on Youth Development, Gender and
I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes notes
of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Youth Development,
Gender and Employment Creation on the National Youth Service Training
Your Committee went on a tour of the National Youth Service Training
Centres from the 27th to the 29th of October
2003. Centres were selected from three Provinces; these centres
were Guyu, Mushagashe and Border Gezi.
Reference: Your Committee laid its terms of reference as follows:
- To assess
the performance of the program of National Youth Service Training
- To appraise
the recruitment criteria.
- To familiarise
with the curriculum.
In the process of the inquiry, your Committee interviewed Officials
from the following National Youth Service Training Centres: Guyu,
Mushagashe and Border Gezi. Trainees from all three centres were
also interviewed. Discussions were held with the Ministry of Youth
Development, Gender and Employment Creation Officials.
will detail the findings of your Committee and at the end give recommendations.
toured the Centres to ascertain the veracity of the negative reports
but the National Youth Service Centres.
recruited by the Ministry of Youth Development, Gender and Employment
Creation through district and provincial offices.
The diet of
the trainees does not reflect a balanced diet as there is no variety
and in some cases, the amounts are inadequate.
found that trainees have no training kit and uniform.
The living conditions
of the trainees leave a lot to be desired especially at Guyu.
There is a problem
with the provision of clean water especially at Guyu.
seems to include topics that duplicate the work of the Vocational
Training Centres and the material seem to be inadequate.
The girl child
is not adequately provided for in terms of sanitary wear.
at Mushangashe could not sit for their O’ level registered for because
they do not provide adequate information.
Your Committee was informed by all interviewed that recruitment
is not carried out by the training centres themselves. Each candidate
voluntarily makes an application to the District Office and the
application is then passed on to the provincial office. The provincial
office then transmits the names to the Ministry of Youth Development,
Gender and Employment Creation, who then place the trainees in the
different training centres around the country.
be between the age of fifteen (15) and thirty (30). Those still
in secondary school are not accepted in the program. Candidates
are required to undergo medical examination before they begin training.
In the initial stages of the programme, it was found that some candidates
were discovered to be pregnant because they did not go through medical
was told that trainees were informed that tracksuits, shorts training
tennis shoes and toiletries were requirements to be brought to entry
into the training centre.
of training has been reduced from six months, because of financial
constraints. During the training, the trainees do not leave the
centres, however, they are allowed visitors.
Diet: Your Committee was aghast at the diet of the trainees
at Guyu. The trainees informed your Committee that there is no variety
in their diet. In the morning at 0630 hours they have cup of tea
of porridge, for lunch they have sadza and beans, for supper it
is the same. Management, informed your Committee that each meal
weighs 200g, which was the standard measurement used by army and
the police for their cadets. The trainees complained that the amounts
were too little for their vigorous training. The trainees at Border
Gezi also complained about lack of variety in their diet, however,
they were happy with the amounts. At Mushagashe, the male trainees
reported that sometimes they have tea with no bread in the morning
and for lunch and supper, sadza and cabbage. At the Border Gezi,
they have samp and beans for breakfast, sadza and beans or green
vegetables or cabbage for lunch and the same for supper.
noted with concern that the diet of trainees is inadequate in all
centres, with Guyu being the worst. All the centres were talking
about the possibility of acquiring land to begin projects that will
supplement the diet of the trainees. Your Committee feels that such
projects will go a long way to provide food for trainees.
and Training Kit: Your Committee was shocked to learn that trainees
do not have training kit. The first port of call was Guyu and the
trainees there have shorts, which were the same design for both
sexes. On a very cold day when your Committee toured Guyu, both
male and female trainees had green cotton shorts and T-shirts. Some
had jerseys or jackets, tucked into the shorts. The shorts were
provided by Guyu. This attire is not suitable for girl trainees
who complained about the shorts being too short. They were requesting
longer shorts and tracksuits.
and Border Gezi, the trainees wore their own clothes. No shorts
or tennis shoes were provided by the centres. They cited shortage
of funding as the cause of this. Here, the students also had either
no shoes or slippers or worn out tennis shoes.
At the inception
of National Youth Service, trainees were provided with uniforms
at pass out. The centres are no longer able to provide uniforms
for two reasons. Firstly, there are no funds to purchase uniforms
for individuals. When current trainees pass out, they will do so
on different dates, so that the same uniforms can be used for pass
out parade by each centre. Secondly, it was reported that some people
in society were using the uniforms to carry out criminal activities,
thereby tarnishing the name of the centres. The centres have no
control over students once they leave and therefore cannot control
what happens to the uniform thereafter.
Committee was distressed at the living conditions of the trainees
at the Guyu Centre. Both the female and male barracks, have no doors.
The roof on one of the male dormitories was blown off by the wind,
and it has not been repaired. Your Committee toured the toilets
and found them very dirty and a health hazard to trainees. The barracks
at Mushagashe and Border Gezi were found more habitable.
The water for Guyu is a cause for concern to your Committee. The
drinking water is from a dam and is stored in a reservoir tank.
Your Committee was confirmed that the water needs to be boiled first
before use and the trainees indicated doubt as to whether the water
is fit for human consumption. The authorities at the centre informed
your Committee that the problem is that of old piping that cannot
be replaced, because of shortage of funds.
The Guyu centre
also has a garden with limited vegetables that are watered by flood
irrigation using water from the sewer. This situation is cause for
great concern because trainees could contact diseases.
Some of the topics covered in the curriculum include; Patriotism,
Discipline, Political History of Zimbabwe, Democracy, Culture, Religion,
Gender, Entrepreneurship, National orientation, Disaster Management,
Technical Skills, National Resources Management, Health Service,
Art, Survival Skills. Your Committee is of considered opinion that
there is too much being offered at such a short time. It is its
feeling that the Ministry should draft a core course for the trainees,
to make it more focused and more effective. Making the course long
and complicated is counter productive, because of the mixture in
trainees. Some have a high level of education and others are just
about literate. Your Committee, however, commends the NYS training
for the course of entrepreneurship. It would seem, however, that
there is duplication of work with Vocational Training Centres doing
the same. NYS should have a clearly spelt out goal and this will
eliminate the duplication of duties factor.
was also disappointed that there are no teaching modules for trainees
and no hand-outs. There are also no set textbooks that are used,
which means that the different centres may not necessarily be teaching
the same materials.
It was of great
concern to your Committee that there do not seem to be any set of
qualifications for trainers/lecturers/for the NYS curriculum. Each
centre had a different level of qualifications for instructors.
the girl child: Your Committee wanted to ascertain for itself
the girl safety and well being of girl child at the institution.
Your Committee questioned instructors and students on whether girls
have heard, seen or experienced molestation either from instructors
or from other trainees and the answer was negative. The girls at
Guyu and Border Gezi have their barracks fenced off and heavily
guarded by security especially at night. They have to be in the
barracks by 6 p.m. and no males are allowed into their barracks.
Mushagashe has no fence, however, the rules are strict and the girls’
barracks are also just as heavily guarded. The girls were interviewed
in all three centres and they all satisfied that they are all safe
and treated equally with the boys, but they are protected. Your
committee noted with concern that the girl child in the NYS institutions
lack adequate sanitary wear. Border Gezi and Mushagashe are better
supplied, however, your Committee is anxious that the girl child
be supplied with adequate sanitary wear.
Supplementing ‘O’ Levels: Your
Committee was intensely disturbed to learn that there were trainees
who have registered for ‘O’ levels but there was a possibility that
could not write. Mushagashe had 40 boys and 11 girls who could not
sit for their ‘O’ levels. The reason given were that, they left
their homes before they received their statements of entry. They
were unable to go back home to get them because this is against
NYS policy. Trainees only go back home in case of emergency in the
family. The students were adamant that they had registered, however,
the instructors were also adamant the students could not prove that
they had registered and hence would not write. Your Committee suggested
that the trainees make an arrangement for them to sit for their
exams and the trainees informed your Committee that if the NYS allowed
them to sit they were not registered with ZIMSEC, even those registered
were not going to receive their results.
be provided with proper training kit.
should be used at Pass Out and then kept at District offices where
they can be recovered each time they are required for state functions.
- All students
supplementing their ‘O’ levels must be allowed to write at the
nearest ZIMSEC centres.
- Female trainees
must be given adequate sanitary wear.
should be given adequate food because they under go rigorous training.
- The curriculum
should be the same in all NYS Training Centres.
should have the same level of qualifications in all NYS training
Your Committee concluded that NYS Training can be of value to
the Zimbabwean Youth if planned more carefully and resources are
made available for the effective implementation of the training.
If living conditions are improved for the trainees and the curriculum
is made more focused, this programme can achieve great results with
the contributions made by Members of Parliament in the House.
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