Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Zimbabwe: the education system breaks down...

The class of 2008 will not receive an education. Since the school year began in January, Zimbabwe's 4.5 million pupils have had a total of 23 days uninterrupted in the classroom, teaching unions say - a sorry state for a country that once had the highest standard of education in Africa.

President Mugabe became an African hero of rare distinction when he carried out a big expansion of the education system in the early years of his rule. As with most of the country's infrastructure, that system is now in the process of total collapse.

In the mid-1990s there was a national O-level pass rate of 72 per cent. Last year it crashed to 11 per cent. Many schools recorded zero passes.
To avoid the humiliation of total failure in 2008 the Government has cancelled the academic year. “It would be criminal if the Government allows examinations to go ahead,” Raymond Majongwe, the secretary-general of the Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe, said. Full story...

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