Govt hails ZELP 

Source: Govt hails ZELP -Newsday Zimbabwe

PRIMARY and Secondary Education deputy minister Angeline Gata says the recently launched Zimbabwe Early Learning Policy (ZELP) will serve as a foundation for basic learning and strengthen existing policies on education.

Addressing delegates in Kadoma last week, Gata said a strong learning foundation is necessary to improve learning outcomes.

“The new policy is an intention to support our children and to bind that children must go to ECD (both A and B) as a prerequisite for formal education which starts at Grade 1. I believe this will help in our pass rates. If we have a strong foundation in our children, even their orientation will go a long way,” she said.

“The Government of Zimbabwe is committed to strengthening foundational learning in response to a call made at the Transforming Education Summit held in September 2022. Its emphasis is on the acceleration of foundational learning and the enhancement of literacy and numeracy competencies as building blocks for improved performance at higher levels.”

Gata expressed gratitude to partners and the various government departments involved in the formulation of the policy.

“The support from Unicef and Unesco is highly appreciated as it insures progress on Zimbabwe’s commitments to global development targets.

“It is very encouraging to see the range of stakeholders and civil society partners here, indeed this is the best formula for policy success. The Global Partnership for Education, FCDO and the Roger Federer Foundation are also acknowledged for their technical and financial support to this key undertaking,” she said.

“This policy addresses the quality of teaching and learning, children’s health, nutrition and care, as well as family or community support. It also addresses financing and resource mobilisation, managing emerging situations in early learning, monitoring, evaluation and research requirements,” said the deputy minister.

ZELP is a coordination tool for strengthening Zimbabwe’s human capital development through acquisition of knowledge, values and attitudes acquired through an education system which prioritises early learning as the basis for other lifelong learning opportunities.

The policy also recognises the importance of equal access to inclusive early learning opportunities for all.

In a statement on X the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said: “Launching the Zimbabwe Early Learning Policy by @MoPSEZim is a giant stride towards tackling the learning crisis. Early learning ensures children are ready for school, aligning with the @UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and SDG 4.2.”

The government has, however, been at the receiving end of brickbats over its education other education initiatives such as the Continuous Assessment Learning Activity with both pupils and parents criticising it as flawed and highly taxing.