The Zimbabwe schools examination council (ZIMSEC) published the 2019 grade seven results with its statistics clearly indicating a drop in the performance of the candidates. According to the ZIMSEC findings there is a 5.18% drop in pass rate from 52.08% for the 2018 candidates to 46.9% for the 2019 grade seven students. We note with concern that if the tributaries to the performance drop are left unattended will compromise the whole Zimbabwean education quality standards. There are a number of factors contributing to the emerging pass rate trends such as the national socio-economic crisis, teachers’ incapacitation and the deficiency of preliminary learning resources. Our economy is in shambles due Mthuli Ncube’s financial policies being implemented under the banner of austerity measures for prosperity which are actually causing poverty rather than prosperity. Austerity measures have resulted in a significant fraction of Zimbabwean learners to attend school without exercise books, text books and proper school uniforms not mentioning their empty stomachs. The situation automatically affects leaners psychologically which will in turn affects learning negatively. On another note the learners are being taught by incapacitated teachers who are totally against the austerity measures. A number of teachers’ unions declared incapacitation with ARTUZ members embarking on an indefinite industrial action. It’s not business as usual in schools, the education system is susceptible to a decline of quality standards being fuelled by austerity measures. As ARTUZ we are not going to fold our hands and watch our education system together with the future of leaners going down the drain as a result of the detrimental austerity measures. Give us our salaries indexed in USD for high quality classroom delivery.

Source: Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe