Policy Brief on 2022 Education Budget with Special Focus on Early Childhood Development Budget

As espoused in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), Zimbabwe in the period 2021-2025 is targeting broadening access and participation to quality, equitable and inclusive education by disenfranchised populations that are found in remote places and over-crowded urban areas. The country is also targeting continuous revision of curricula at all levels of education to enhance the relevance of education system for labour market.

Successive budgets should therefore allocate resources towards construction, equipping and re-tooling laboratories, workshops, and education facilities. Reeling from the aftermaths of Covid 19 induced closures, the education sector in Zimbabwe is facing numerous challenges, largely related to inadequacy of funding. A significant segment of the school-going population is learning under deplorable conditions, including under trees, in former tobacco barns and in open spaces.

According to UNICEF, Zimbabwe has 6,671 primary schools and 2,954 secondary schools which are already overstretched and some in bad conditions. Latest estimates have shown a huge increase in shortages in the number of schools from 2,050 in 2015 to slightly more than 4,000 in 2025. Demand for education services is set to increase significantly as the school-going age population is estimated to increase by 50% from 5.34 million in 2019 to 7.98 million by 2030 and so is infrastructure and other capital investment requirements With regards to Early Childhood Development (ECD), access is still limited because of shortages of trained teachers and learning spaces.

According to Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development Actors (ZINECDA), 58.5%7 of ECD teachers is ECD trained while 36% of teachers are paraprofessionals. The lack of ECD classrooms, according to UNICEF, accounts for about 46 percent of the country’s classroom deficit. This includes the appropriate toilets, water, outdoor play equipment.

Read the full policy brief here (418KB PDF)

Source: Education Coalition of Zimbabwe

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