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Zimbabwe Urged to Resuscitate Dumped Colonial Education System

FILE: A pupil walks into a dilapidated classroom at the Grace Mugabe Primary School in Hatcliffe. (Photo/Irwin Chifera)

Zimbabwe has started conducting public meetings to review the country’s education system some say is too academic and outdated.

According to several people, who have so far attended the nationwide meetings convened by the two ministries of education, the majority of attendants including some top state officials believed that the current studies at primary and secondary schools are so academic that they do not fully equip students for real life situations.

They said it is necessary to re-introduce the F1 and F2 education in which some students pursued academic studies while others enrolled at schools where they acquired practical skills in building, carpentry, animal husbandry, crop production and other activities.

The country abandoned this two-tier education system soon after independence from British rule.

Sifiso Ndlovu, chief executive of the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association said the curriculum review is designed to empower students.

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Officials in the ministry of education say they hope to complete the consultation process soon.

A 1999 Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Education and Training led by Caiphas Nziramamasanga of the University of Zimbabwe recommended that Zimbabwe should adopt four pathways of education - academic, business, technological and vocational.

The report called for the revamping of the education system to ensure that learning is not just an academic exercise but should equip students with life skills.