Education in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe considers human capital investment via education a major tool for sustainable development. Education is recognized as a fundamental human right and necessary for the development of the people in society.
Zimbabwe’s education sector has suffered from several challenges that have deteriorated its quality. These include poor physical infrastructure, brain drain, and declining standards in school performance.
The vision of the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2016-2020 is to “be the leading provider of inclusive, quality education for socio-economic transformation by 2020.” The plan includes four pillars:
- Access for all, including providing adequate infrastructure, opportunity for non-formal education, early identification of children at risk of not entering the system, dropping out or falling behind, and strategies to support those unable to meet education fees.
- Quality and relevant learning with the introduction of a competency-based curriculum that includes ICT, STEAM/STEM, education for sustainable development and life skills.
- Focus on learners by building, developing, monitoring and upgrading the professional skills of teachers already in the profession and by developing a responsive pre-service curricula.
- Strong leadership, management and monitoring providing efficient and effective service delivery within an institution that has the right structural framework.
Responding to these pillars, five core programs have been identified:
- Introduction, monitoring and adjustment of new curricula at all levels
- Enhancing infrastructure to meet population growth needs, and ensure learning environments are inclusive and age appropriate
- Introduction of a teacher quality improvement program, to build professional skills and competencies, and formalize professional standards
- Establishing a capacity development program, in order to manage institutional change for a modern and progressive education system
- Development of a Center for education research, innovation and development, and building the country’s capacity to provide and analyze data that will inform its policies.
In order to monitor implementation of the ESSP, Zimbabwe has identified performance indicators for outputs, outcomes and processes, which will be disaggregated by gender, location, and socio-economic status and reviewed during annual reviews.
Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.
Primary Gross Enrollment Rate (%)
Primary Completion Rate (%)
Lower Secondary Completion Rate (%)
Out-of-school Children Rate (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as a Share of Public Expenditure (%)
Public Expenditure on Primary as a Share of Total Education Expenditure (%)
Student/Trained teacher ratio
Teachers Trained (%)
GPE in Zimbabwe
The new GPE program of US$20.6 million for 2017 – 2020 is embedded in the education sector strategic framework for 2016-2020 of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and focuses on five priority areas:
- Providing a strong policy, legal and regulatory framework through support for:
- Legal and policy development work,
- Leadership and management development for school support and school leaders for the implementation of School Financing Policy,
- Information sharing and capacity building for the implementation of Inclusive Education Policy
- Implementing the new curriculum through support for:
- New curriculum implementation,
- Purchase of textbooks and learning materials,
- Consolidation of Early Reading Initiative.
- Improving equity and access with a focus on inclusive education, non-formal education, and accelerated learning through support for:
- Special needs education, school psychological services,
- Non formal education,
- Integration of PLAP (Performance Lag Address Programme) into curriculum,
- Provision of learning facilities for the most disadvantaged districts.
- Strengthening institutions through:
- Demand-driven response to national and sub-national leadership, management and capacity development,
- Establishment of CERID (Centre for Educational Research, Innovation and Development) and research on education needs and response and,
- Program support, management and monitoring.
Source: Program document – August 2016
The first GPE program in Zimbabwe has contributed to progress within the education sector, by achieving the following results:
- 44,342 teachers received training in the use of early reading materials.
- The new teacher development information system (TDIS) was rolled out in all districts, and data were collected on 127,000 teachers.
- 52,730 teachers have been trained in the use of the performance lag address program (PLAP).
- 103,764 teachers, along with all primary and secondary head teachers and deputy head teachers in 8,651 schools received training in the use of the new teacher professional standards.