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Teachers lament education inequality after18 Binga schools record 0% passes

Local News
School children learning

AT least 18 schools in Binga, Matabeleland North province, recorded a zero percent pass rate at Ordinary Level 2022 examinations, with teachers unions yesterday saying such results showed education inequality in the country and accused government of failing to provide marginalised communities with free education.

A document seen by NewsDay shows that Chisizya, Gwatagwata, Manyanda, Katete, Lubanda, Saba, Zambezi and Zumanana secondary schools, among others in the region, had a zero percent pass rate among other schools.

Simbala, Msenampongo, Sinampande, Siabindi, Nakaluba, Chasamba, Muchesu, Sinakomba, Masibitha and Ntivule secondary schools also failed to record any passes in the 2022 O Level examinations.

Teachers said the failure was not surprising as the current curriculum was hinged on Information Communication Technology (ICTs), which was lacking in most rural schools.

“At a time when government has made computers compulsory in the updated curriculum, 75% of primary schools and 65% of secondary schools in rural areas have no electricity or alternative power. This is not to talk of computers that are hardly in any school. Fundamentally, it is a warped approach to make ICT compulsory in schools when the schools have no plans of implementing this or making this a reality,” Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Takavafira Zhou said.

“There is, therefore, a marked departure from educational policies and reality in schools. There are no textbooks in schools, while equalisation funds that used to be given to rural schools for some modicum of infrastructural development have long stopped, and it is government’s responsibility to revive this.”

Educators Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Tapedza Zhou said:  “In Zimbabwe, most areas with better educational facilities had received attention since the colonial times and have had the same standards improved after independence. Areas like Binga have, for most of the time, been neglected to continue with their own culture. They are lagging in terms of education.”

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe president Obert Masaraure said government’s failure to meet the Dakar declaration on education was the primary reason for inequality in the education sector.

“Section 75 of our Constitution envisages State-funded education. Government should adequately fund learner access to education, teacher welfare and acquisition of learning and teaching materials,” he said.

“This is only possible if government meets the threshold prescribed by the Dakar declaration of 20% of our budget allocation to go towards education. This has not been the case, we have been allocating around 13% of the national budget, and the bulk of what is allocated is not even disbursed.”

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