In Africa, the kidnapping of the 113 Chibok girls by the jihadists, Boko Haram, casts a shadow on the safety of schools are all over the world. There are cases of schools shooting in the USA. During the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe for instance, schools were fishing grounds for new fighters. Today, schools have remained melting pots of violent politics, exposing learners to political vitriol, slandering, scandalising of opponents, and outright political violence, including potential exposure to ordinances such as grenades.

This policy brief deals with the issue of making schools, pupils and teachers safe from exposure to political violence during elections. The brief builds upon previous research carried out by RAU, and the recent (related) decision by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to protect children from attending political meetings.

Schools, schooling and teachers are a fundamental part of a nation’s fabric, having critically important roles in developing the workforce and social capital of the future. Multiple studies demonstrate the crucial role that education plays in development. All societies desiring to develop economically, and have a strong, stable citizenry, place high priority on education. Zimbabwe is no different and has received endless praise for the investment by government in education.