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Perennial Strikes Crippling Zimbabwe's Once-Admired Education System

Zimbabwe's public school system, once considered the best in Africa, remains mired in crisis despite hope it would revive under the national unity government installed in February.

David Coltart's appointment as minister of education was welcomed by many including the unions representing teachers, and he has won plaudits for his work in coaxing underpaid and often politically repressed teachers to return to their classrooms.

But the education system was plunged back into crisis this week when Zimbabwe Teachers Association launched yet another strike Wednesday as a new school term began.

To examine the latest strike's impact on schools and children, reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to Senior Program Officer Elias Matendere of the Center for Community Development and Coordinator Israel Mabhoo of the Chiedza Nkanyiso community-based schools program, which recruits retired teachers.

Matendere said an unending series of labor actions by teachers is hindering the education of children who lost many days in the classroom in 2008 amid election-related turmoil.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...