Apostolic sects in Zimbabwe should focus on building their own learning institutions to enable their children to access education, a senior sect official has said.

The secretary general of Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (Udaciza), Edison Tsvakayi, told The Zimbabwe Mail that as part of the 2014-2016 education master-plan  the religious sects would now construct educational institutions.

“This is against the background of various problems our children encounter, especially in high school and tertiary institutions, hence we have teamed up to build our own schools,” he said.

Tsvakayi said Udaciza met with children at congresses held in all regions where they (children) complained of discrimination they were getting at most schools, while others complained that church doctrines were still a stumbling block to accessing higher education.

“In the meetings young people told us they would want to follow apostolic principles in boarding schools and put on church robes but most schools didn’t allow it. Some said they were forced to follow other religions in some schools. We then realised the need to introduce our own learning institutions,” he said.

He said the move would also ensure that apostolic members would, in future, be counted amongst Zimbabwe’s most educated people.

“It is rare to find graduates at apostolic gatherings as many sects encourage self-employment. We want to raise future leaders with a different mind-set,” he said.

Tsvakayi singled out Marange and Mwazha apostolic sects as the most conservative and averse to certain issues particularly regarding educating the girl-child, with the district of Buhera in Manicaland province being the most affected.

He said investing in the three year plan was worthwhile and served the children while unlocking opportunities for them.

According to Tsvakayi the sect had already taken a step towards this initiative and most sects had, thus far, bought into the idea.

“We are building a school in Chitungwiza and in the long-run we would want to have schools across the country,” he said.

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