Govt on course to restore education: Dokora

The government is on course to restore the education sector to its former glory, says deputy minister Lazarus Dokora.

Lazarus Dokora
Lazarus Dokora

He told the House of Assembly that education standards continued to be affected adversely by the economic meltdown of the past decade which he claimed was a consequence of the “sanctions regime.”

“However, since the introduction of a stable currency in 2009, there has been an improvement of service delivery in all our schools. The improvements are continuing and more is expected. Thanks to central government, parents, other stakeholders and education partners for their immense contribution,” said Dokora.

Many government schools closed at the height of the country’s economic and political crisis in 2008 and only re-opened in 2009 after the formation of a power-sharing administration between rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The supply of school books has dramatically improved, largely thanks to aid agencies, but most rural schools remain dilapidated and teachers routinely threaten to boycott classes to press for higher pay.

UNICEF has distributed exercise books and learning materials to more than 5,000 primary schools around the country and signed contracts with local publishers to print 13 million textbooks.

Nkulumane Thamsanqa Mahlangu had asked the minister about the appalling 2010 O Level pass rate of just 19 percent.

He replied that a number of strategies were in hand to improve this in both urban and rural schools, including teacher incentives such as housing loans.

The government was also trying to supply adequate teaching and learning materials to secondary schools.

Dokora said e-learning had been introduced in 20 secondary schools countrywide “and the programme is assisting children to effectively study Mathematics and Science subjects through the use of virtual laboratories especially in rural schools where there are no science laboratories, equipment and the chemicals to use for experiments.” The project would be expanded to 20 more schools by 31 December 2011.

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