Basic Education and Gender Equality

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Science Kits for Secondary Schools 2014

© Richard Nyamanhindi/UNICEF 2014
The science kits for secondary schools are a revival of the Zim-Science programme which was introduced by the Government of Zimbabwe in the early eighties.

Background

Over the last three decades, Zimbabwe has invested heavily in improving access to, and enhancing the quality of science education. However despite these investments in science through the Zim-Science project, the teaching and learning of science and the performance of learners has continued to be affected by many challenges, among them inadequate resources for effective practical activities, shortage of trained science teachers, and inappropriate teaching methodologies. Against this background, the Education Development Fund (EDF), a multi-donor pool of funds, provided funding to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to procure science equipment (Science Kits) for secondary schools. The science kits for secondary schools are a revival of the Zim-Science programme which was introduced by the Government of Zimbabwe in the early eighties. These science kits are being provided under Phase II of the Education Development Fund.

The Science Kits Project

  • This project is providing user-friendly apparatus and reagents (chemicals) to all the 2,336 secondary schools in the country;
  • The contents of the kit will enable Form1 to Form 6 teachers to undertake practical activities (experiments) in science subjects, including in subjects like Integrated Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics; 
  • The distribution of these kits to schools has been preceded by the training of science teachers on how to use the equipment;
  • In addition, each secondary is receiving a tailor-made practical activities manual which should complement the science textbooks already purchased and distributed under the Education Development Fund since 2010.

Goal of the Project

  • To improve the teaching and learning of science in secondary schools in Zimbabwe through the provision of science kits.

 Objective 1: To procure 2,500 science kits for the teaching of secondary school science.

Objective 2: To train 5,000 science teachers and 100 education officers on the use, care and maintenance of the supplied science kits.

The Science kits

  • Each kit consists of 186 different items, 42 of which are chemicals. Each item comes in quantities that allow children to work in groups and individually so as to have a hands-on experience of science practicals;
  • The kits are appropriately packaged and labelled to allow for easy identification of the items contained;
  • The kits are being delivered directly to schools from the UNICEF Warehouse in coordination with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

Training of Science Teachers

  • Each secondary school receiving the kits will have at least two science teachers trained in the effective use, care and maintenance of the science equipment;  
  • By the end of March 2014, a total of 5,000 science teachers and 100 District Education Officers would have undergone training on the science kit. This number comprises two teachers from each secondary school in Zimbabwe;
  • The trainings are being conducted by teams of local education officials using highly specialised training equipment which was procured as part of the science kits.

Distribution of the kits        

  • The distribution of science kits will start in February 2014 and will continue until end of April 2014, by which time all schools will have received their kit;
  • All formal secondary schools are eligible, including satellite and registered schools;
  • Schools will need to set aside safe and secure storage facilities;
  • Distribution will be done directly to the school. Even in cases of small satellite schools, delivery will be made right at their doorstep and not to the mother school;
  • As part of the kit, each school will receive five boxes: one for chemicals; one for shelves/racks and trays; and three boxes for  apparatus/equipment;
  • Each box is appropriately labelled, identifying the school, district, and province;
  • Upon receipt of the consignment, the school is expected to give feedback to the district office immediately if any items in the boxes are broken or if anything listed is not in the box;
  • The district office will in turn notify UNICEF within two weeks of such shortages/breakages and replacements will be sent;
  • The kits will be school assets and are expected to be taken care of as such;
  • Records and asset registers will be required as per normal procedure;
  • Three secondary teachers’ training colleges will also receive one kit each for training purposes;
  • UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will arrange transporters to deliver the kits directly from the warehouse to the schools;
  • A distribution plan has been worked out jointly by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and UNICEF to enable smooth  and timely delivery;
  • UNICEF will hire and pay the transporters;
  • Schools do not need to pay anything for transportation and delivery of the kits. However local school communities are expected to assist with the offloading at each site.

 

 
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