Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Lack of Funding and Political Interference Damage Zimbabwean Education

A video obtained by Think Africa Press documents failings in Zimbabwe’s education system.
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Think Africa Press has obtained a film revealing the poor state of education in some areas of Zimbabwe and its politicisation by the ruling ZANU-PF party. Made up of secretly-filmed footage in various locations, the video highlights the lack of facilities in schools and the infiltration of teaching by the ZANU-PF. 

The video begins by citing a UNICEF finding that following the 2008 elections, primary school attendance dropped from 80% to 20%. It goes on to show how large numbers of children are taught outdoors or on overcrowded classrooms floors. One teacher explains that there are not enough rooms, no furniture and only 8 toilets for 736 pupils at their school. Things, we are told, are even worse in the rainy seasons when pupils are taught in wet and cold conditions or simply have to be sent home. 

At another school, we witness an Independence Day celebration and hear schoolchildren chanting “Forward with ZANU-PF!” and “Down with [prime minister] Tsvangirai!”. A group of pupils perform a play in which President Robert Mugabe is the hero and dissidents are killed. 

We then hear from a parent who claims teachers are sometimes forced to attend ZANU-PF meetings and that some schoolchildren have no time to study as they have to complete ZANU-PF projects. 

The video ends with footage of teachers taking to the streets to call for a salary increase from $286 per month to $564 per month, holding signs which say ‘Teachers Are Suffering’.