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Zimbabwe Grapples with Shortage of 2,800 Schools as Children Learn Outdoors

Zimbabwe's education sector is currently facing a severe shortage, with a deficit of approximately 2,800 schools, forcing many children to receive lessons in makeshift outdoor classrooms.

Wilson Waison

During the latest government briefing, Information Minister Jenfan Muswere highlighted the ongoing efforts to address these challenges within the first 100-day cycle of 2024. According to Muswere, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has made significant progress, registering 40 new and existing satellite schools across all provinces, which are slated for completion within the cycle.

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Torerai Moyo elaborated on the infrastructural developments, noting the ongoing rehabilitation and upgrades of classroom blocks, administrative offices, and water and sanitation facilities at 11 schools. Moyo also mentioned that the construction of 10 new laboratories in schools spread across several provinces including Manicaland, Matabeleland North, and Harare is on track.

In addition to these developments, Moyo highlighted the construction of four new sustainable and affordable boarding facilities aimed at reducing the travel distances for many students in Manicaland, Masvingo, and Mashonaland East provinces.

Despite the increase in private school establishments, Moyo emphasized the government's stringent regulations, stating only those registered with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education are recognized. He warned of plans to shut down any illegal schools operating under subpar conditions.

Furthermore, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Amon Murwira discussed initiatives aimed at enhancing the educational landscape through the adoption of Education 5.0. This strategy focuses on research, teaching, community service, innovation, and industrialization, aiming to equip students to create their own industries rather than seeking employment elsewhere.

Murwira also encouraged private investment in the education sector and highlighted a new hybrid model designed to improve the training and capacity of graduate teachers.

Overall, the government's multipronged approach to overcoming educational shortfalls and enhancing learning environments across Zimbabwe reflects a strong commitment to ensuring that all children have access to quality education, despite current challenges.


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