4.7 million primary and secondary school textbooks that will benefit 4,383 disadvantaged primary schools and 1,211 disadvantaged secondary schools in all 72 districts of the country have been procured and ready for distribution. This is Phase 2 of textbook procurement with an investment of almost US$6.6 million. The books are for learners in Early Childhood Development (ECD B), grades 1-4 and forms 1-4.
Under Phase 1, over 2.3 million textbooks which now benefit over 1.5 million learners in 4,383 in primary and 1,211 in secondary totalling 5,594 were procured and distributed. Above the 2.3 million textbooks, 72,200 Teacher’s Guides were also distributed.
In addition to the textbooks, UNICEF is procuring some12, 600 standard primary science kits to benefit 4,377disadvantaged primary schools in all districts across the country. The science kits will support the Ministry’s thrust to promote the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, through the competency-based curriculum. The textbooks and kits will be delivered to districts in the first quarter of 2019. Plans are also underway to procure agricultural kits in 2019.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held at Eaglesvale School, between the Government of Zimbabwe and UNICEF, Honourable Minister Prof. Paul Mavima stated, “We are happy with the Phase 2 procurement and distribution which comes at an opportune time as learners will access these books as they begin in 2019. The total investment for learning materials between the Government of Zimbabwe and development partners in 2018 alone is US$12.1 million. This shows dedication that we are working hard towards providing every learner, especially in the disadvantaged schools, with access to quality educational materials and infrastructure. We must equalize opportunities for learners and build a prosperous Zimbabwe.”
The Government of Zimbabwe through the fiscal has made huge contributions towards the procurement of teaching and learning materials for the primary and secondary learners. Treasury has invested approximately 11 million that has focussed on processes for the procurement of heritage, A level and also equipped laboratories.This brings total approximate investment to approximately 23 million for teaching and learning materials.
The teaching and learning materials are targeted at the most disadvantaged schools that are in need and these are estimated at 6000 schools. They also need infrastructural development. “Every learner in Zimbabwe should have access to quality education materials and infrastructure, stated the Honourable Minister.
Speaking on behalf of UNICEF Education Manager, Dr Chiharu Kondo emphasized the importance of the ongoing curriculum reform process and also the teachers in schools. “Teachers need continual professional development for effective curriculum implementation. The textbooks UNICEF has presented constitute one set of leaning materials. We know that learners will also need a broad range of other materials such as stationery, classroom furniture, infrastructure, including water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, access to drinking water and toilets and other equipment to support the teaching of technical and vocational education. UNICEF is happy to see the Ministry is targeting the most disadvantaged schools and learners in the distribution of teaching and learning materials.