Africa
Teacher's Guide
 

August 7, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

Check out this date's update
 
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Kevin - Constitutional Comparisons

Kevin outlines the similarities and differences between the constitutions of The United States and Zimbabwe, noting some striking parallels between the governing doctrines of each country.

The following text was written by Monica on the subject of Rhodesia's Declaration of Independence. It ties in well with the Ian Smith article below, but it can also serve as a prompt for students to explore some of the key differences between their own constitution and that of Zimbabwe.

Share with students the following text, written by Monica. Then have them compare the text of the United States' and Rhodesia's Declarations of Independence. The US declaration is available on the web, and the following text includes excerpts from the Rhodesian Declaration.

The following can be used to lead a discussion as well: Do you think you would be bold enough to sign your name to something that could get you in lots of trouble, and even brand you as a traitor? When was the last time you did something you thought was right, even though other people disapproved?


On what date did the United States of America declare Independence? Ask any American schoolchild (or look on a calendar) and you'll see July 4, 1776. On that day, the country's "founding fathers" like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin signed their names to a Declaration of Independence and committed to paper the reasons why they would no longer be held responsible to the British crown. Later on, the leaders of the original thirteen states built the American constitution on ideals of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

On what date did Zimbabwe, then called Rhodesia, declare Independence? Ask any Zimbabwean schoolchild and you'll hear November 11, 1965, and even the hour of 1:15pm, when, over the radio on Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation, Ian Smith read out the announcement of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence. The two British colonies, within two hundred years of each other, had declared themselves independent nations, no longer responsible to a small island kingdom thousands of miles away.

The following are excerpts from the Rhodesian Declaration.
WHEREAS in the course of human affairs history has shown that it may become necessary for a people to resolve the political affiliations which have connected them with another people and to assume amongst other nations the separate and equal status to which they are entitled: AND WHEREAS in such event a respect for the opinions of mankind requires them to declare to other nations the causes which impel them to assume full responsibility for their own affairs:

NOW THEREFORE, WE THE GOVERNMENT OF RHODESIA, DO HEREBY DECLARE: THAT it is an indisputable and accepted historic fact that since 1923 the Government of Rhodesia have exercised the powers of self-government and have been responsible for the progress, development and welfare of their people; THAT the people of Rhodesia have demonstrated their loyalty to the Crown and to their kith and kin in the United Kingdom and elsewhere through two world wars, and having been prepared to shed their blood and give of their substance in what they believed to be the mutual interests of freedom-loving people, now see all that they have cherished about to be shattered on the rocks of expediency:

THAT the people of Rhodesia fully support the requests of their Government for sovereign independence but have witnessed the consistent refusal of the Government of the United Kingdom to accede to their entreaties;...

THAT in the belief that procrastination and delay strike at and injure the very life of the nation, the Government of Rhodesia consider it essential that Rhodesia should attain, without delay, sovereign independence, the justice of which is beyond question;...

NOW THEREFORE, WE THE GOVERNMENT OF RHODESIA, .... seeking to promote the common good so that the dignity and freedom of all men may be assured, DO BY THIS PROCLAMATION adopt, enact and give to the people of Rhodesia the Constitution annexed hereto.

Kavitha - Spreading a Bad Seed - The Greed of Agri-business

Considers the role of the multi-national biotechnology corporation, Monsanto, in illegally bringing genetically-modified organisms to rural areas of Zimbabwe. It includes information on the company's BT Cotton experiments, the World Trade Organization, Zimbabwe's Plant, Pests, and Diseases Act, the smuggling of test crops, biopiracy, and food security in rural areas.

Discuss the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms. Under what circumstances might biogenetics be acceptable (for instance, suppose somebody came up with a modified fungus that only killed certain weeds?) Discuss the possible ramifications of releasing such a thing.

Ask the students to think of other examples where new ideas had a different impact on the world than what was expected.

Be sure to have them check out the Making a Difference activity.

Monica - Teen Pen Pals Dream of Hollywood and Big Changes for Zimbabwe

Kid's version available

Documents an email correspondence with two white teenage girls on break from their boarding school, Girls College Bulawayo, revealing adolescent ambitions, political views, and daily activities.

Write a class letter to the Girls' College in Bulawayo. Tell them about your school. Send them a few things that show what's important to you and your school. Ask them at least three questions about their life in Zimbabwe.

Send Monica an email at monicaflores@bigfoot.com. Tell her a little about yourselves and what makes the Odyssey special to you.

When you are able to vote, what issues will be important to you?

Monica - Frustration Fuels Motivation - Education in Zimbabwe Through the Eyes of a Student Activist

Discusses secondary and university education in Zimbabwe. It addresses such topics as: inequality amongst school districts, the Tongan tribe, Shona languages, Ndebele, Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP), enrollment statistics, and growth of school districts

You can use the following questions to lead a discussion or prompt journal writes:

Do you share Dominic's view of education, that it has the power to "transform a country"? In many places in the world, school is taken for granted. What would life be like without school? What would you do? Where would you go? Just how important is schooling for future success, both for the individual and for society?

Monica - An Interview With Ian Douglas Smith, It's All a Matter of Perspective

Monica interviews Ian Smith, who gives his rose-colored account of The Unilateral Declaration of Independence

Find a historical account of Ian Smith's personality and opinions. Compare them to what Smith professes in this dispatch. How do they compare? Is Ian Smith being honest about what happened? Does HE believe he is being honest?

What qualities make for a good leader? Which are the most important? Are good morals enough? Is boldness of action and confidence? Is being popular enough?

Making a Difference - Developing Countries, Big Daddy Corporations and the World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization Agreement on Agriculture causes problems for third world countries that can't defend themselves against corporate greed.

Visit http://www.citizen.org, one of the two web sites that Kavitha cites. What makes a good citizen? Does it have anything to do with being aware of the issues around you? How can you relate what's going on with agriculture and third world countries to your own life? How are you affected, now or in the future?

Students ideas here tie in well with the discussion questions on the Ian Smith article about what makes for a good leader.

 
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