Government should fund education sector

Former Education minister David Coltart and President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Former Education minister David Coltart and President Emmerson Mnangagwa

His comments come as education funding in the country has remained critical with the sector relying mostly on donors.

Coltart believes one of the most disturbing aspects of Zanu PF’s policies is the low priority they give to education.

“Teachers in Zimbabwe are treated and paid appallingly and in real terms the sector is grossly underfunded. The education sector is in a deepening crisis. This must change,” Coltart wrote on his twitter account.

“Meeting with Jamie Saavedra director of Global Practice of Education in @WorldBank . I raised the need for national governments to revise their budgetary priorities to make education an actual priority. So many governments simply pay lip service to making education number 1,” added Coltart.

Some schools are struggling to get adequate resources to buy necessities that include chalk, learners’ as well as teachers’ books over and above other requirements like furniture and sports equipment which forced most of schools to foot extra costs, which they had not budgeted for.

To make matter worse government introduced a new curriculum which has overstretched parents’ budgets as they have to buy extra learning materials beyond the reach of many.

Teachers complain, for example, that the new curriculum is complex and involves a myriad of new demands, new technologies for all schools, while the majority of institutions in the rural areas lack the requisite infrastructure and most teachers were not computer literate.

During a Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference, outgoing Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima said donors have pledged to finance the country’s struggling education sector.

Mavima added that Mnangagwa’s government was determined to improve the country’s education sector. “Zimbabwe has provided for the attainment of fit for purpose outcome by all learners at quality schools and with competent teachers,” Mavima said early this year.

“Central to the goal is implementation of a new curriculum framework and the education sector strategic plan 2016 to 2020.” Daily News.