Resurrecting the teaching of classics in Zimbabwe's secondary schools: the imperative for a new paradigm in Zimbabwe's education approach
Mlambo, Obert Bernard
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This paper forwards arguments to assert the relevance of the Classics in Zimbabwe's education curriculum today. At a time when Classics seems to be virtually ignored or forgotten in Zimbabwe's school system, the University of Zimbabwe has continued to produce graduates in the Classics. The Classics section of the Department of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy offers courses in Classical Studies, Classics, Latin and Greek at BA General and Honors Levels, and Classics at Masters Level. Higher Degrees at MPhil and DPhil levels are also offered. The Classics section has a huge enrolment of up to seventy five students every year. This massive investment in the production of knowledge and graduates in the Classics is not being supported by the Zimbabwe School System. Before Independence, Classics at the University College of London (now University of Zimbabwe) enjoyed a position of importance almost equal to the position of Classics in British Universities. The University was well supplied with Classical students by the school system. There existed a well balanced symbiotic relationship then between the school system and the University. The situation obtaining now is such that the University trains classicists who have never studied Classics at school and when they finish their studies, their expertise is not tapped by the school system, where there is no more Classics to talk about. Such an imbalance is not healthy for the future and continuity of a classical education in Zimbabwe. It is the argument of this paper that if the aim of education be correctly defined as being to give knowledge of the best and noblest things done or said in the world, then education must keep a place for the Classics.