When Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980, the majority of its people did not have access to quality schooling. Most only finished seven years of primary schooling. During the first 25 years of independence, the government in partnership with local communities, made great strides in the building of schools, teacher training and resource improvement. As a result Zimbabwe boasts of one of the highest literacy rates in sub-Saharan Africa.
Zimbabwe's education system consists of 7 years of primary and 6 years of secondary schooling, before students can enter tertiary institutions. Most Zimbabweans children, between 4-6 years, attend pre-schools, and begin Grade 1 during the year in which they turn six. On average pupils enter Secondary school at the age of 13 years and complete Form 4 or Form 6 at 16 and 18 respectively.
National exams are written at the end of Grade 7, in Mathematics, English, Shona/Ndebele and a General Paper. The Primary school curriculum offers a total of 13 subjects. Grade 1 to 3 are taught in the mother language. Practical subjects are non-examinable but schools offer such subjects according to their resources, i.e. Art and Craft, House Economics, Music, Sports, Physical Education.
At secondary school there are two terminal examinations: The "Ordinary Level Certificate Examination" taken after four years of secondary education and the "Advanced Level Certificate Examination" taken after six years.
At Ordinary Level pupils required to pass a minimum of (5) subjects which should include, English, Mathematics, Science, History or one of the Technical/Vocational subjects so as to earn a full certificate.
Subjects currently on offer for "O" Level examinations include:
* Sciences: Biology, Mathematics, Integrated Sciences, Physics, Chemistry
At Advanced Level a minimum of two subjects is required for a full certificate.
Advanced Level Subjects Offered:
There has also been a shift from the provision of quantitative education to the attainment of quality education. Entry qualifications for Teacher Training Colleges, for those intending to teach at Primary school level is a minimum of 5 "O" Levels and English is a compulsory subject. The duration of the training programme is three years.
Teachers recruited to teach in secondary schools should have degrees, diplomas or certificates in education. A survey carried out in 2000 established that about 7.4 per cent of teachers teaching in secondary schools were untrained.
Government pays for all teachers on the official establishment of schools, but should the school wish to have additional staff, above its quota, then the School Development Association has the mandate to engage and pay such teachers.
Schools in Zimbabwe are run by Rural District Councils, Government, Churches, Mining Companies, Urban Councils, Trust Boards, and privately. Government contributes through per capita grants. Private Schools charge high fees in the form of levies. School Development Associations also fund raise in order to support the funding of extra teaching staff, the building of additional facilities and equipment.
At independence Zimbabwe had one national university offering diplomas and degrees. Zimbabwe currently has 7 public universities, including a University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo; four church related universities, and a women's university, that are fully internationally accredited. Zimbabwe also has an Open University for those who cannot attend residential university programmes. A number of teacher training, and technical colleges offer diplomas and degrees in business and technical subjects.
Zimbabwe has in the last few years seen a mushrooming of private institutions also offering diplomas and degrees. All such institutions have to be registered with the Ministry of Higher Education before they can operate.
A successful adult literacy programme was launched in 1982, in order to provide functional literacy to adults who did not have an opportunity to attend school. Zimbabwe has a literacy rate of 96 per cent, one of the highest in the Southern African region.
INSTITUTIONS/GRADUATES 2004, 2005 & 2006
Source: Ministry of Education, Zimbabwe3
TEACHERS COLLEGES GRADUATES 2003, 2004 AND 2005
N.B. The State Secondary Teacher's Colleges are Belvedere, Mutare and Hillside. There are eleven (11) Primary Teachers' Colleges. Nyadire, Bondolfi and Morgenster are Private Primary Teachers' Colleges while the rest are state colleges.
POLYTECHNICS AND INDUSTRIAL TRAINING CENTRES GRADUATES 2002 - 2005
(*) HIT= Harare Institute of Technology is now a state university
UNIVERSITY GRADUATES 2003 AND 2004
Private universities are Africa University, Solusi University and Women's University in Africa and Catholic University. The rest are state universities
The National Health Service in Zimbabwe is established at four levels:
Primary Health Care is the main vehicle through with health care programmes are implemented in the country. The main components of Primary Health Care (PHC) include: maternal and child health services; health education; nutrition education; and food production: expanded programme in immunization; communicable diseases control; water and sanitation; essential drugs programme; and the provision of basic and essential preventive and curative care.
The majority of health services in Zimbabwe are provided by the public sector (Ministry of Health and Child-Welfare and Local Government), both in the rural and urban areas.
Government services are complimented by Mission (Church related) and private facilities.
Health services in Zimbabwe are integrated, so that every health facility offers a full range of available services, that is both curative and preventive services. Thus all health services offer maternal and child health services (MCH), including family planning.
In an effort to boost access to health service by newly resettled farmers, some thirty former farm homesteads are being converted into rural health centres.
HIV Infection and AIDS
The Zimbabwe Government set up the National AIDS Council, in order to spearhead the fight against the pandemic. The National AIDS Council has structures, right down to Ward which coordinate the activities of government, Non Governmental Organizations, Churches and the private sector in programmes to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Government instituted an AIDS Levy in 2002 in order to fund the activities of the National AIDS Council and the NGOs in the sector.
As part of its policy on HIV/AIDS the Government of Zimbabwe encourages the voluntary counseling and testing for HIV (CVT). There are currently 430 sites in the country where voluntary counseling and testing is provided. Government, with the help of international donors, has been providing medication in order to stop mother to child transmission.
Children in Zimbabwe are taught about HIV/AIDS from the age of eight. There have been suggestions that the subject should become examinable, so that the teachers can take the teaching of the subject more seriously. Outside the school system, efforts to educate the youth about HIV/AIDS, have been carried out by NGOs, Churches, and youth groups. Studies have indicated that knowledge about HIV/AIDS is high amongst Zimbabwean. A 2002 survey, showed that the majority of young people were aware that sexual contact was a major mode of HIV transmission. A recent health survey also showed that condom use amongst non-cohabitating partners had increased compared to 1999. Condom use amongst women currently stands at 45.7 per cent compared to 42 per cent in 1999, whilst for men it stood at 71.2 per cent, up from 70.2 per cent, in 1999.
Training of Health Personnel
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