Great Zimbabwe
Education & Health

When Zimbabwe gained its independence in 1980, the majority of its people did not have access to quality schooling. Most only finished seven years of primary schooling. During the first 25 years of independence, the government in partnership with local communities, made great strides in the building of schools, teacher training and resource improvement. As a result Zimbabwe boasts of one of the highest literacy rates in sub-Saharan Africa.

Zimbabwe's education system consists of 7 years of primary and 6 years of secondary schooling, before students can enter tertiary institutions. Most Zimbabweans children, between 4-6 years, attend pre-schools, and begin Grade 1 during the year in which they turn six. On average pupils enter Secondary school at the age of 13 years and complete Form 4 or Form 6 at 16 and 18 respectively.

National exams are written at the end of Grade 7, in Mathematics, English, Shona/Ndebele and a General Paper. The Primary school curriculum offers a total of 13 subjects. Grade 1 to 3 are taught in the mother language. Practical subjects are non-examinable but schools offer such subjects according to their resources, i.e. Art and Craft, House Economics, Music, Sports, Physical Education.

At secondary school there are two terminal examinations: The "Ordinary Level Certificate Examination" taken after four years of secondary education and the "Advanced Level Certificate Examination" taken after six years.

At Ordinary Level pupils required to pass a minimum of (5) subjects which should include, English, Mathematics, Science, History or one of the Technical/Vocational subjects so as to earn a full certificate.

Subjects currently on offer for "O" Level examinations include:

* Sciences: Biology, Mathematics, Integrated Sciences, Physics, Chemistry
* Liberal Arts: English Literature, Religious Studies, History, Geography
* Commercial Subjects: Commerce, Economics, Computer Studies, Accounts
* Languages: English, French, Shona, Ndebele, German, Latin
* Practical Subjects: Woodwork, Metalwork, Agriculture, Technical Drawing, Fashion and Fabrics, Food and Nutrition

At Advanced Level a minimum of two subjects is required for a full certificate.

Advanced Level Subjects Offered:
* Languages: English, Shona, Ndebele, French, Portuguese, German, Spanish
* Science: Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Computing
* Mathematics: Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Statistics * Humanities: Geography, History, Divinity
* Technical/Vocational: Accounting, Economics, Management of Business (MOB), Business Studies
Massive Changes have been made to the school curriculum in the last 15 years. The new thrust is towards provision of Technical/Vocational Education and enhancement of Mathematics, Science and Technology.

There has also been a shift from the provision of quantitative education to the attainment of quality education. Entry qualifications for Teacher Training Colleges, for those intending to teach at Primary school level is a minimum of 5 "O" Levels and English is a compulsory subject. The duration of the training programme is three years.

Teachers recruited to teach in secondary schools should have degrees, diplomas or certificates in education. A survey carried out in 2000 established that about 7.4 per cent of teachers teaching in secondary schools were untrained.

Government pays for all teachers on the official establishment of schools, but should the school wish to have additional staff, above its quota, then the School Development Association has the mandate to engage and pay such teachers.

Schools in Zimbabwe are run by Rural District Councils, Government, Churches, Mining Companies, Urban Councils, Trust Boards, and privately. Government contributes through per capita grants. Private Schools charge high fees in the form of levies. School Development Associations also fund raise in order to support the funding of extra teaching staff, the building of additional facilities and equipment.

Tertiary Institutions
Zimbabwe has witnessed a major expansion in the of tertiary institutions now offering Diplomas, degrees and post-graduate qualifications

At independence Zimbabwe had one national university offering diplomas and degrees. Zimbabwe currently has 7 public universities, including a University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo; four church related universities, and a women's university, that are fully internationally accredited. Zimbabwe also has an Open University for those who cannot attend residential university programmes. A number of teacher training, and technical colleges offer diplomas and degrees in business and technical subjects.

Zimbabwe has in the last few years seen a mushrooming of private institutions also offering diplomas and degrees. All such institutions have to be registered with the Ministry of Higher Education before they can operate.

A successful adult literacy programme was launched in 1982, in order to provide functional literacy to adults who did not have an opportunity to attend school. Zimbabwe has a literacy rate of 96 per cent, one of the highest in the Southern African region.

INSTITUTIONS/GRADUATES 2004, 2005 & 2006

 

year / no. of institutions

TYPE OF INSTITUTIONS 2004 2005 2006

STATE PRIMARY TEACHERS' COLLEGES

7 8 8

PRIVATE PRIMARY TEACHERS' COLLEGES

3 3 3
STATE SECONDARY TEACHERS' COLLEGES 3 3 3
STATE POLYTECHNICS 8 8 8
STATE INDUSTRIAL TRAINING CENTRES 2 2 2
PRIVATE INDUSTRIAL TRAINING CENTRES 2 2 2
PRIVATE TECHNICAL COLLEGES 277 277 277
STATE UNIVERSITIES 7 8 9
PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES 4 4 4
TOTAL 313 314 315

Source: Ministry of Education, Zimbabwe3

TEACHERS COLLEGES GRADUATES 2003, 2004 AND 2005

COLLEGE / YEAR 2003 2004 2005
BELVEDERE 455 405 415
BONDOLFI 200 442 257
JOSHUA M NKOMO 485 576 808
HILLSIDE 459 545 547
MARYMOUNT 451 300 496
MASVINGO 297 326 554
MKOBA 430 318 306
MORGAN 354 277 287
MORGENSTER 413 322 325
MUTARE 729 218 205
NYADIRE 369 269 261
SEKE 455 435 438
UNITED COLLEGE OF EDUCATION 412 535 408
TOTAL 5509 4995 5307

N.B. The State Secondary Teacher's Colleges are Belvedere, Mutare and Hillside. There are eleven (11) Primary Teachers' Colleges. Nyadire, Bondolfi and Morgenster are Private Primary Teachers' Colleges while the rest are state colleges.

POLYTECHNICS AND INDUSTRIAL TRAINING CENTRES GRADUATES 2002 - 2005

POLYTECHNICS 2002 2003 2004 2005
Harare Poly 1422 2230 2265 2300
Bulawayo Poly 1203 1573 1854 2186
Mutare Poly 524 1006 985 965
Kushinga Poly 363 484 324 425
Masvingo Poly 544 785 1088 1508
Kwekwe Poly 424 780 642 730
Gweru Poly 452 578 405 532
Harare Institute of Technology (*) 170 204 479 1125
sub-Total 5102 7640 8042 9770
STATE INDUSTRIAL TRAINING CENTRES
Msasa Industrial Training Centre 0 11 10 11
Westgate Industrial Training Centre 38 55 33 30
Sub-Total 38 66 43 41
PRIVATE INDUSTRIAL TRAINING CENTRES AND COLLEGES (**) 8919 10314 10659 14686
         
GRAND-TOTAL 14059 18020 18744 24497

(*) HIT= Harare Institute of Technology is now a state university
(**) The number of graduates in this two includes graduates of technical courses in secondary schools that offer vocational courses

UNIVERSITY GRADUATES 2003 AND 2004

UNIVERSITIES 2003 2004
AFRICA UNIVERSITY 180 208
BINDURA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE EDUCATION 104 28
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY 37 37
CHINHOYI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY 392 229
MASVINGO STATE UNIVERSITY 166 198
MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY 450 1628
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 563 673
WOMEN'S UNIVERSITY IN AFRICA 0 74
SOLUSI UNIVERSITY 332 332
UNIVERSITY OF ZIMBABWE 2945 2746
ZIMBABWE OPEN UNIVERSITY 1144 1180
HARARE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Enrolled first intake in 2005
LUPANE STATE UNIVERSITY Enrolled first intake in 2005
TOTAL 6313 7333

Private universities are Africa University, Solusi University and Women's University in Africa and Catholic University. The rest are state universities
Source: Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe

Health
The National Health Service in Zimbabwe is established at four levels:

  • * Primary
  • * Secondary
  • * Tertiary
  • * Quaternary

    Primary Health Care is the main vehicle through with health care programmes are implemented in the country. The main components of Primary Health Care (PHC) include: maternal and child health services; health education; nutrition education; and food production: expanded programme in immunization; communicable diseases control; water and sanitation; essential drugs programme; and the provision of basic and essential preventive and curative care.

    The majority of health services in Zimbabwe are provided by the public sector (Ministry of Health and Child-Welfare and Local Government), both in the rural and urban areas.

    Government services are complimented by Mission (Church related) and private facilities.

    Health services in Zimbabwe are integrated, so that every health facility offers a full range of available services, that is both curative and preventive services. Thus all health services offer maternal and child health services (MCH), including family planning.

    In an effort to boost access to health service by newly resettled farmers, some thirty former farm homesteads are being converted into rural health centres.

    HIV Infection and AIDS
    Zimbabwe was one of the first countries in the world to recognize HIV/AIDS and offer protective measures. Sentinel surveillance for HIV shows that 17 -25 per cent of antenatal patients were positive in 1993. This figure rose dramatically in the first half of the 1990s peaking and stabilizing at around 29 per cent, in 2002, 24.6 in 2005. Since the late 1990s the HIV prevalence rate in Zimbabwe has been on the decline, making Zimbabwe one of the first African countries to witness such a trend. The current adult prevalence rate is reported to be 20.1%. HIV/AIDS has thus remained the number one health problem in the country.

    The Zimbabwe Government set up the National AIDS Council, in order to spearhead the fight against the pandemic. The National AIDS Council has structures, right down to Ward which coordinate the activities of government, Non Governmental Organizations, Churches and the private sector in programmes to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Government instituted an AIDS Levy in 2002 in order to fund the activities of the National AIDS Council and the NGOs in the sector.

    As part of its policy on HIV/AIDS the Government of Zimbabwe encourages the voluntary counseling and testing for HIV (CVT). There are currently 430 sites in the country where voluntary counseling and testing is provided. Government, with the help of international donors, has been providing medication in order to stop mother to child transmission.

    Children in Zimbabwe are taught about HIV/AIDS from the age of eight. There have been suggestions that the subject should become examinable, so that the teachers can take the teaching of the subject more seriously. Outside the school system, efforts to educate the youth about HIV/AIDS, have been carried out by NGOs, Churches, and youth groups. Studies have indicated that knowledge about HIV/AIDS is high amongst Zimbabwean. A 2002 survey, showed that the majority of young people were aware that sexual contact was a major mode of HIV transmission. A recent health survey also showed that condom use amongst non-cohabitating partners had increased compared to 1999. Condom use amongst women currently stands at 45.7 per cent compared to 42 per cent in 1999, whilst for men it stood at 71.2 per cent, up from 70.2 per cent, in 1999.

    Childhood Mortality
    Because of the vigorous health strategies put in place soon after independence, mortality in children had decreased to the lowest levels towards the end of the 1980s, and leveled off in the 1990s. The mortality situation appears to be worse off in rural and former commercial farming areas, as compared to urban areas. In general child survival prospects have not improved since the late 1980s, largely as a result of changes in health policies, following the implementation of structural adjustment programmes, and further compounded by the sanction imposed on the Zimbabwe government by the European Union and the United State government.

    Training of Health Personnel
    Most of the health personnel working in the Zimbawe health sector have been trained at institutions in Zimbabwe. There are two teaching Hospitals, for medical doctors in Zimbabwe, Harate and Mpilo Hospitals. The University of Zimbabwe has a Faculty of Dentistry. Both the Universities of Zimbabwe and of Science and Technology in Bulawayo have facilities to train pharmarcists and medical technologists. Nurses are trained at a number of training colleges, including some Missionary Hospitals. Because of the brain drain Zimbabwe is loosing its doctors, pharmacists, laboratory technologists and nurses to South Africa, Canada, and United Kingdom.

  • Copyright © 2007 Embassy of Zimbabwe