Lazarus Dokora is a Zimbabwean politician and the former Minister of Primary and Secondary education. Dokora is a member of the Zanu-PF political party. He is a former Member of Parliament for Rushinga Constituency.

Dr
Lazarus Dokora
Lazarus Dokora, Minister of Education
Born Lazarus Dokora
March 11, 1957
Nationality Zimbabwe
Education University of Zimbabwe
Alma mater University of Zimbabwe
Occupation
  • Former Minister of Primary and Secondary Education
Years active 2013 to 2017
Known for Changing the Curriculum , Introducing the National Pledge, Introducing E-Map( Form -1 Online Application)
Political party Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front

Contents

Background

Lazarus Dokora was born on November 3, 1957.[1]

Education

Dokora holds a BA Hons degree as well as an MA from the University of Zimbabwe[2]

Career in the Education Sector

Dokora started off as a classroom teacher in Zimbabwe. He taught at both Ordinary and Advanced Level before he transferred from the school system in 1982 to Seke Teachers’ Training College where he remained for the next four years. In 1986, he was then assigned on a mission to Cuba under the Zimbabwe-Cuba technical cooperation programme. [3] The programme unfolded for ten years. Dokora worked as an academic coordinator at the Filial University de Manuel de Cespedes, Isle of Youth, Cuba. Eventually, he became the director of the programme succeeding the first director, Fabian Pesanayi. On his return to Zimbabwe in 1996, Dokora joined the University of Zimbabwe as a lecturer where he taught Introduction to Theories of Communication, Critique of Theories of Communication and Mass Communication, International Media Structures and Media Economics.[2] He left the Univerisity in 2000. He also worked with the team that set out to establish Vocational Training Centres across the country.[3]


As a politician

After leaving his job as a lecturer, Dokora contested for the Rushinga parliamentary seat in Mashonaland Central province, which he won with 20 027 votes, his closest competitor, Joel Mugariri of the MDC had 2 438 votes. Dokora lost the seat five years later to Sandra Machirori, with 22 494 votes. However 16 months later, Machirori passed on, necessitating a by-election which he contested and won.[3]

As a Minister

Dokora joined the Zimbabwe government when he was appointed Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in 2013. In his tenure as minister of education, he courted a lot of controversy from a cross-section of society.[4] and he was given the nicknames Minister of Change and Cyclone Dokora .[5]


Changes Made to the Education Sector When Dokora was Minister 2013 to 2017

The Education Ministry headed by Dokora indicated that they borrowed concepts from the Nziramasanga Presidential Commission of Inquiry report on education and training carried out in 1999 which chiefly recommended a review of the education curriculum to incorporate psychomotor skills in Zimbabwe’s children. [5]

Some notable changes include an emphasis on practical subjects, supplementary feeding in schools, banning of corporal punishment, housing incentives for teachers, banning of extra-lessons in schools, and provision of further education scholarship for teachers, now called classroom facilitators.

Controversy

Examination Fee Hikes

There was a public outrage when the former minister announced that the government was considering introducing examination fees whereas in recent years the grade seven exams were offered to students free of charge. There were also proposals to increase examination fees for Ordinary levels were to be increased from 13 dollars to fifteen dollars.[4] Although the minister reiterated that fee hikes were meant to curb examinations from leaking but most analysts argued that the government should be sensitive to the fact that most Zimbabweans were not employed.

Condoms Issue

Dokora also torched a storm when he proposed that students should be given condoms by their parents as a way of protecting them from the dangers associated with unprotected sex.[6] Lazarus Dokora maintained that he would not allow condoms to be openly distributed in schools but argued that since parents were responsible for teaching their children life skills, they could as well hand out condoms to their children.

Banning of Extra and Holiday Lessons

During the economic meltdown of 2008, the country witnessed an unprecedented prominence of extra and holiday lessons in schools. The practice was widely practiced in boarding as well as day schools and Dokora argued that the practice was illegal.[7] The move provoked many parents and school administrators who argued that although teachers got extra money from the enterprise, the students were the main beneficiaries of the practice. Prominent people like Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri also insisted that extra lessons should not be banned as they helped the teaching of slow learning students. Dokora, however, put an end to the practice.

E-Map Lawsuit

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was accused of stealing the idea for its E- MAP online enrolment system by Harare company Purple Divine Technology which said it pitched the idea to the Ministry which in turn went on to use the idea without their approval. [


Accident

In May 2017 Lazarus Dokora was involved in a hit and run car accident at the intersection of Lomagundi and Harare Drive roads in Harare— heading north towards Westgate. It was reported that the former minister was unhurt but his car was damaged and almost beyond repair. The accident reportedly occurred at around midnight and the former minister was alone in the vehicle when he was side-swiped by a speeding vehicle whose driver somehow contrived to overtake him on the left side. The car was reportedly taken to the Central Mechanical Engineering Department (CMED) before the accident was reported to the police.[8]

Dismissal

In December 2017 after Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as the new president, he dissolved his cabinet and Dokora was not included in the new administration. He was succeeded by Paul Mavima who had deputized him in the previous administration. Dokoras dismissal was welcomed by members of the public and the education sector. The Zimbabwe Teachers Association reportedly indicated that Dokora did not consult nor listen to them before making decisions and in the end imposed decisions on them. [8]




References

  1. DOBs, The Bearded Man, Published: June 21, 2007, Retrieved: August 7, 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mr Lazarus Dokora, the University of Zimbabwe, Published: No date given, Retrieved: August 7, 2015,
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Dokora: When the Heavens stop smiling , , Published: 27 December 2017 , Retrieved: 29 January 2018
  4. 4.0 4.1 Silas Nkala Examination fees hike sparks anger, Southern Eye, Published: No date given. Retrieved:
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 [ http://www.financialgazette.co.zw/new-schools-curriculum-change-for-the-sake-of-change/ New schools curriculum: Change for the sake of change], , Published: 3 November 2016 , Retrieved: 30 January 2018 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "FinancialGazette" defined multiple times with different content
  6. Veranda Langa Untrained teachers to go back to school, Southern Eye, Published: , Retrieved: August 7, 2015
  7. Dokora’s affinity for controversy now legendary, The Standard, Published: May 10, 2015, Retrieved: August 7, 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Minister Escapes Death by whisker, , Published: 30 May 2017 , Retrieved: 29 January 2018 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "" defined multiple times with different content