Basic education and gender equality

Basic education and gender equality



Basic education and gender equality

UNICEF Zimbabwe/2011
© UNICEF Zimbabwe/2011

Key issues

The Government allocates about 12 per cent of its national budget to primary and secondary education, with most of it going on salaries. There is little left over to spend on improving
the quality of education.

Although primary school enrolment figures remain high (over 90 per cent), quality of education is a major challenge, evidenced by the fact that almost 60 per cent of pupils do not pass the exams that enable them to go on to secondary school. More than one million young people of secondary school age are out of school and have few prospects of finding a job. Inequalities in education are growing, with children from the top wealth quintile being three times more likely to attend secondary school than children from the bottom quintile. Although there is gender parity at primary level, girls make up only 35 per cent of pupils in upper secondary. School fees and levies have disadvantaged the poorest children.

Key goal

Improve learning and teaching materials, support teacher training and motivate teachers and encourage the adoption of the Child Friendly School model.

Education Transition Fund

UNICEF-supported interventions, funded through the Education Transition Fund (ETF), comprise three pillars - School and System Governance, Teaching and Learning, and Second Chance Education. Specific actions include:

  • The distribution of 23 million textbooks to primary and secondary schools, resulting in a 1:1 pupil-to-textbook ratio;
  • The development of a national school grants initiative, delivering critical investment for education quality at school level, to assist in the reduction of financial barriers to education for both boys and girls;
  • Teacher upgrading in O’ level Maths and English for at least 7,500 under qualified teachers and improving the basic teaching skills of at least 10,000 ECD paraprofessionals;
  • Training of at least 300 key Ministry personnel at the national, provincial and district level, as well as some 8,000 school heads to strengthen their system management capacities related to planning, implementation, supervision and monitoring, linked to priorities outlined in the Education Medium Term Plan;
  • The development of a fully revised, modern, market-oriented and culturally appropriate curriculum framework, with corresponding tested syllabi for all ECD and primary levels;
  • Development of a second chance education programme, providing alternative learning opportunities for at least 50,000 young people, with the aim of returning at least 50,000 school learners to mainstream education.





VIDEO: Improving quality of education through Child Friendly Schools

VIDEO: Giving hope to disadvantaged children through education

Fact sheet: Educational Transition Fund

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