UPDATES: Gibson Nyikadzino PHOTOGRAPHY: Wilson Kakurira ONLINE EDITOR: Costa Mano

1558: “With our partners, we are ready to have all students get a meal a day for them to perform better through the school feeding programme. Parents and guardians should protect children from sexual abuse and any form of abuse. Children should report all forms of abuse to police or anyone they trust. Perpetrators of child abuse will be prosecuted. Teach children good moral values.”

1553: “Train yourselves to be avid readers who have analytical minds that make you problem solvers not problem causers. Be entrepreneurial. Opportunity favours the prepared. I urge you to use ICTs for academic purposes. Do not allow the internet to affect your morals.”

1551: “The updated curriculum should transform students so that they become competent in the world.”

The President says Government will distribute textbooks to the most disadvantaged schools as he challenges schools to embark on income generating projects as well as build and equip libraries.

1550: “We have set vision 2030 for our children and this should give you a decent future. The past years have given us an increased number of learners. We need a firm foundation for an appropriate base for human resources. Optimum resources will be put in schools to improve the learners’ environment.”

1443: President Mnangagwa takes to the podium. He welcomes all who have graced the occasion.

“Its a great pleasure welcoming our children on the eve of our 38th Independence anniversary. We celebrate independence and freedom. We remember boys and girls who perished in the war of independence. Through that sacrifice, we should be loyal to the country,”

1541: “As we implement the new curriculum, we want to close all gaps and improve its effectiveness. The old curriculum had become outdated. All our children cherish increasing opportunities now available in the country through education,” says Prof Mavima as he leaves the podium for President Mnangagwa.

1540: “We have enhanced teaching of STEM subjects, ICTs from infant level because we want an education that provides lifelong vision for our children. We want all boys and girls to have an equal education. No nation can advance beyond the level of its education.”

1532: Dr Utete calls Min Prof Larry Mavima to make his presentation and introduce President Mnangagwa. Prof Mavima says 2500 children hosted by President Mnangagwa are a representation of the 4.5 million school children of Zimbabwe.

“Future Zimbabweans will enjoy the importance of education as espoused under President Mnangagwa’s leadership. Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education believes the new curriculum is responding to needs of the industry.”

1531: Schools finish their presentations. Dr Utete thanks the provinces.

“We want to thank teachers behind these dances. Do not tire,”

1504: Children from different provinces continue entertaining the party guests with poems, songs and traditional dances.

1446: Harare Province represented by Leon Bhunu wearing ZNA military fatigues recite his poem title Operation Restore Legacy.

1437: Dr Utete invites children to perform traditional dances, recite poems and make their exhibitions.

1433: School children representing schools from the country’s ten provinces register their participation and presence through dance and “war cries”

1429: Dr Utete-Masango reads out messages coming from school children, including “Avoid Drugs” “Report Child Abuse” “Education is the Key to Success” and “Invest in the Youth for a Better Zimbabwe”

1426: Dr Utete-Masango welcomes President Mnangagwa and the First Lady.

Children laugh as they enjoy themsleves at the City Sports Centre

She also makes introductions by showing appreciation of Cabinet Ministers, senior Government officials and permanent secretaries present.

1421: Before prayer, Rev Damasane says Zimbabwe’s theme that we are open for business should be supported through education.

1418: Director of Ceremonies, Primary and Secondary Education Perm Sec Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango invites Rev. Damasane to give an opening prayer

1415: Children recite the National Pledge.

1413: St Mary’s High School from Chitungwiza leads in the singing of the National Anthem.

1411: President Mnangagwa is accompanied by the First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa and First Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa arrive at the City Sports Centre

1358: President Mnangagwa has arrived at the City Sports Centre and welcomed by Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Miriam Chikukwa as children start cheering upon noticing the Head of State.

1320: Ministers Miriam Chikukwa, Kazembe Kazembe, Larry Mavima, Chris Mushohwe are at the venue.

Children dance to Killer T’s music

1315: The Children’s Party is being held under the theme “Zim @38: Socio-Economic Restoration and International Re-engagement”. Senior Government officials and Cabinet ministers are now arriving at the venue. Pomp and fanfare characterises the event as the children are dancing and singing along to Killer T’s music.

1300: President Mnangagwa is, this afternoon, expected to address the 2018 Children’s Party at the City Sports Centre. Hundreds of school children from the country’s ten provinces await the address ahead of tomorrow’s 38th Independence celebrations.