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Zimbabwe Students Fare Poorly; Inexperienced Teachers Blamed

Most schools in Zimbabwe performed poorly in last year’s 'Ordinary' and 'Advanced' level examinations with teachers’ unions blaming the government for failing to revamp the nation’s education sector after a decade of decline.

Some are blaming the country’s over-reliance on temporary teachers, saying this has contributed to the falling pass rates in schools.

Programs officer Oswald Madziva of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe says some rural schools in Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Matebeleland North and South provinces are run by untrained teachers leading to under-performance by students.

“The situation in rural schools is worsened by political violence, especially during election years and with calls for early elections by ZANU-PF now reaching fever pitch, teachers in some volatile rural areas are bracing themselves for a difficult time ahead,” said Madziva.

Chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association says more should be done to address problems affecting the education sector in the country.

He says many factors, including the absence of adequate educational materials and the lack of experienced teachers, are contributing to the falling pass rates.