|Goal 2 - Achieve Universal Primary Education|
Targets and Zimbabwe Trends
The Net enrolment Ratio (NER) decreased from 98.5% in 2002 to 91% in 2009. Primary school completion rates went down from 82.6% in 1996 to 68.2% in 2006. Literacy rate of 15- to 24-year-olds, male and female was estimated at 99% in 2009, compared to 85% in 1994.
Status and Trends
Although enrolments have remained fairly high, completion rates severely deteriorated between 1996 and 2006, falling from 82.6% to 68.2%. In 2009, the dropout rate was around 30% and slightly higher for boys than it was for girls.
Between 2003 and 2009, results from the examinations at the end of Grade 7 indicate a marked deterioration in the percentage of pupils attaining a pass level of 6 or better in the four subjects English, Shona or Ndebele, Math and the General Paper. Only 20% of children managed to pass these four subjects in 2009, compared to 46% in 2003. This grave situation reflects the number of problems primary schools faced during this period, particularly in 2008, when many school were closed. A lack of learning materials, lack of appointments of school heads, and low teacher motivation also played a part.
Pupil-to-textbook ratios deteriorated between 2003 and 2009. In 2003, the ratio at primary schools was 8:1 nationally, with 6:1 in urban areas and 10:1 in rural areas. In 2009, studies showed that 20% of urban primary schools had a pupil-textbook ratio of 9:1 or above, while 11% had no textbooks at all. In rural primary schools, 37% had a pupil-textbook ratio of 9:1, while 8% had no textbooks at all. However, 2010 has seen considerable progress towards improving this situation. Through the Education Transitional Fund, which was established by international partners together with the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts, and Culture (MoESAC), a total of 13 million primary school textbooks are being obtained, enough to provide about five textbooks per child.
Teacher Morale, Commitment and Qualifications
Low teacher morale poses a serious challenge to the education system. Although most children continue to go to school, they often receive irregular education. Poor salaries are the main contributing factor to the low morale, and frequent teachers’ strikes and so-called ‘go slow’ strategies have led to a serious deterioration of the quality of education.
The supervision and quality of schools
School infrastructure has also deteriorated due to lack of maintenance. A recent study shows that only a third of existing primary school classrooms are in good condition.
Public Investment in Education
Challenges to Achieving Goal 2
HIV and AIDS have also had an enormous impact in this area. In Zimbabwe it is estimated that HIV and AIDS are responsible for close to 70% of the current number of orphans. Despite many positive results from the National Action Plan for OVCs, launched in 2005 to care for the orphan population in Zimbabwe, many of these children are still unable to go to and stay in school because of their inability to afford the tuition fees, the uniform, and other associated costs.
Requirements for Achieving Goal 2
Factsheet 2 - Universal Primary Education
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