Meet Zimbabwe's Young Scholars. Students for Students International.
Reviewed by John D. Metzler
Published on H-AfrTeach (February, 1999)
"Meet Zimbabwe's Young Scholars" produced by a North Carolina based foundation (Students for Students International) has a dual agenda. Firstly, it aims to inform North American audiences of the educational system in Zimbabwe through the personal stories of six Zimbabwean high school students. Secondly, the film seeks to promote and raise support for the Sally Mugabe Scholarship Fund (named in honor of Zimbabwe's former First Lady), which supports the education of economically disadvantaged Zimbabwean students. In spite of this advocacy function the video does not seek to overwhelm the viewer with guilt or solicitation. <p> In 20 short minutes the video provides a very nice overview of the Zimbabwean educational system, illustrating the great and stark diversity and disparity of schools in Zimbabwe, from very disadvantaged rural primary schools and under-funding high schools in the high density urban suburbs to the incredibly resourced formerly white only secondary schools in urban Bulawayo and Harare. In spite of the short length of the film, the producers provide the viewer with a brief analysis of the historical and social context of current educational practice in Zimbabwe. This is commendable since too often written and visual descriptions of education in African societies pay little or no attention to the broader social context within which schools operate, teachers attempt to educate and students seek to learn. <p> Most importantly, and the real strength of the video, are the interviews of the six Sally Mugabe scholars which are featured in this work. The three young women and three young men are very articulate giving the impression that the interviews were not scripted. These bright and articulate young people demonstrate the concerns, hopes, and commitment to personal growth and social responsibility that leaves the viewer with hope for the future of Zimbabwe. <p> Given its strengths and its reasonable length this video is ideal for classroom (middle and high school) and broader community use. <p>
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