Source: $14m boost for education | The Herald December 28, 2016
Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent —
IN yet another boost for the country’s education, the Germany Government has extended a grant of $14 million to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for the schools feeding programmes and to assure supply of clean water to pupils.
The money would also be used to support the enhancement of teaching and learning materials for learners and facilitators in the new curriculum.
The grant comes barely a month after the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) approved $20,6 million grant for the sector as donors scramble to support the country’s education.
Zimbabwe has the highest literacy in Africa at 92 percent. Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora announced the Germany education package last week.
“As we prepare to proceed into 2017 curriculum, we are aware that some months ago or is it beginning of this month, we announced that we had received support from the Global Partnership for Education to the value of $20,6 million. I wish to take this opportunity to indicate to stakeholders that the Germany Government has extended support to the ministry to the value of $14 million. Part of this money shall be used to underpin home-grown school feeding, assuring water supply to schools without access to clean sources of water and supporting the enhancement of teaching and learning materials for our learners and facilitators in the new curriculum,” said Dr Dokora.
He said the developments were worth celebrating.
“It is double cheer for the sector. The grant is new money coming into the sector. Our educators have continued to provide high standards of education that has led to high performance,” added Dr Dokora.
Early this month, the Global Partnership for Education announced a $20,6 million grant for primary and secondary education. The grant, which runs for four years, would also target improving the performance levels of learners, especially the more than one million orphans and other vulnerable groups.
Dr Dokora quoted remarks by GPE chief executive officer Ms Alice Albright, who applauded the developments registered so far by the country’s education sector.
Ms Albright said: “Zimbabwe has made encouraging progress in its education outcomes in recent years. With this grant, the Global Partnership for Education is pleased to continue to help Zimbabwe build on its growing commitment to give all its children the quality schooling they deserve.”
Dr Dokora said the grant would help the ministry in further strengthening the education system, promoting equity and improving learning outcomes.
He said the grant would specifically support learners with special needs, non-formal access to education, teacher professional development, production and distribution of learning materials for the most disadvantaged schools and introduction of assessment systems from early childhood development level to last year of secondary school.
Zimbabwe joined the GPE in 2013 and received a GPE grant of $23,6 million to support the implementation of its education sector plan for 2013 to 2016.
United Nations Children’s Fund is GPE’s “grant agent” in Zimbabwe and the UK Department of International Development are the GPE coordinating agency in the country.
Dr Dokora said the previous funding enabled Zimbabwe to boost learning outcomes in basic education by training more than 23 000 teachers in the use of early reading materials and more than 28 000 teachers in the use of the Performance Lag Address Programme.
He said the funding also enabled the country to capture teacher qualification data electronically — Teacher Development Information Systems — and train provincial and cluster supervisors in the use of teacher professional standards.