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Zimbabwe Cabinet Approves $4.5 Billion Strategic Plan to Revive Education Sector

Zimbabwe Education Minister David Coltart says cabinet has approved his $4.5 billion five-year medium term plan that will lead to the construction of 750 new secondary schools and the refurbishment of over 24,000 classrooms by 2015.

In a Twitter and Facebook message, Coltart said the education plan, which should have been implemented from 2010, was unanimously approved by cabinet Tuesday.

According to education officials and teacher unions, the plan will also lead to the construction of 1,500 new classrooms, restoration of the professional status of teachers, promotion of electronic learning, revival of libraries and boosting the capacity of school inspectors.

They said the program is also aimed at promoting marginalized languages, education of disadvantaged children and revitalization of sports and culture.

Zimbabwe's education sector has struggled over the past few years due to economic hardships, putting a dent to the system once revered as among the best in Africa.

The ambitious plan will be funded through the national fiscus and international donors.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association chief executive, Sifiso Ndlovu cautioned that the program - discussed with most labor unions and donor agencies - may be crippled by lack of funds.