Learning is key in Zimbabwe's makeshift schools

'Hard work has produced the results we enjoy here even though we teach our pupils in temporary structures'

Learning is key in Zimbabwe's makeshift schools

World Bulletin / News Desk

As the young senior student at Tabudirira primary school hits a huge iron metal dangling from a tree, which serves as a bell, a bong sound fills the air of the school yard, sending about 300 children, most of them without uniforms, scampering to the assembly point where the Zimbabwean flag is hoisted on a pole.

The school functions as one but does not look like one.

The establishment is a pole-and-mud structure with a grass thatch while the other classroom block is an abandoned old farmhouse.

Except for a few, the pupils, as they stream to the assembly point, run barefoot.

“We enjoy being at school; what we want is to get educated and change our lives,” Agrippa Chumunorwa, a student at the school, says.

“Most of the pupils you see around here are orphans and some come from very poor families, but at least we have people sending us to school,” adds Chamunorwa, who is 14 years old and in Grade seven, the highest primary level of education and the highest level at the school.

Zimbabwe’s primary level of education starts from Grade one and ends at Grade seven.

 

- 86 percent pass rate

The primary school-going age in the southern African nation is generally from six to 13 years old.

Records from Mutoko District Education office in Mashonaland East Province indicate that Tabudirira Primary school, last year boasted an 86 percent pass rate for Grade seven examination results.

And true to the statistics given in the public domain, the school here has turned out to be one of the makeshift structures contributing to Zimbabwe’s over 90 percent literacy rate, this amid reports that Zimbabweans generally value education over everything else.

But UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics in 2015 estimated that 83.6 percent of Zimbabweans aged 15 and older were literate in 2011.

According to the UNESCO estimates, several other Sub-Saharan African countries had higher literacy rates than Zimbabwe, including Equatorial Guinea (94.2 percent), South Africa (93 percent) or Gabon (89 percent).

Meanwhile, a 2015 survey titled Financial Wellbeing Survey Report: Priorities of the Zimbabwean Employee, showed that most Zimbabwean employees prioritized school fees ahead of other expenses.

The report was compiled by Memory Nguwi, who is the managing consultant of Industrial Psychology Consultants, a Zimbabwean management and human resources consulting firm.

Last Mod: 03 Haziran 2017, 11:05
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