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Teachers' Union: Zimbabwe Literacy Rate Less Than 30 Percent

Zimbabwean schools are set for opening Tuesday with a teachers' union sensationally claiming that the country’s literacy rate could be below 30 percent, and not 91,3 percent as officially stated.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said Monday that the criteria used by government to gauge the level of literacy is skewed and should be revised.

The literacy rate, according to the union, is currently defined as "the number of people who completed at least Grade 3 per 100 percent of a particular age category,” a method the union says is “deceptive.”

"Such a falsification of the country's education statistics may be premised on propaganda and the desire to downplay the crisis in the education sector," said PTUZ in a statement.

The education sector, like all other sectors, took a big hit over the past several years from Zimbabwe's crumbling economy, and government has battled to arrest the collapse.

PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe told VOA Studio 7 that government should revise its method of capturing literacy and do more to improve the education sector.
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