Government has revealed chaos in the education sector and admitted that schools are dishing out half-baked pupils who are forced to graduate into higher grades without “basic foundational literacy skills.”
Primary and Secondary Education permanent secretary Tumisang Thabela said a high number of primary school learners are regressing in their education when they transition from one grade to the other.
She was addressing delegates at a high level policy dialogue on basic education financing in Zimbabwe.
“More than 20% of learners who went into Grade three last year and are in Grade four this year were not ready in terms of literacy foundational skills,” she said.
“Twenty percent of learners sitting in class are actually regressing as learning becomes more and more difficult. They end up losing even the literacy that they had in Grade two. I always say, when we complain that a child has failed in Grade seven, we are complaining a bit too late. We should have complained at Grade two.”
She added that there was a need for investment in foundational education, particularly early childhood development.
“This is indeed the era of transforming education, and it begins with all of us accepting that early learning is the most critical step in the education journey. We need to invest heavily in it.”