Latest Zimbabwe education statistics embarrass ruling party

By Janet Shoko
Posted on Monday, 19 May 2014 10:41

Results from a 2012 census indicate that one in two adults have never been to school, but unlike in most parts of the continent, more females than males received formal education.

Saying 51 percent of men in Zimbabwe have never attended school, I think, is totally untrue

The statistics, by the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstat) revealed that 51% of men had not been to school, while 49% of females had missed out on formal education.

Literacy levels in Zimbabwe are believed to be at 90%, the highest in Africa, although Zimstat says 97% of the country’s 13 million people are literate.

According to the report, in the capital, Harare there were slightly more males than females, who had never been to school and there were slightly more females than males at school.

The total population in Harare was pegged at 2,123,132 of which 1,025,596 were male and 1,097,536 female.

“Of the total female population age 3-24 years, 30 percent had left school while the proportion for males was 37 percent. The literacy rate for the province was 99 percent,” reads part of the report.

For the second city, Bulawayo, Zimstat said: “Census information on education revealed that about 10 percent of the population age 3-24years had never been to school.

“However, 89 percent of these were below 6 years of age and many of them likely to start school later. Fifty eight percent of the population was currently attending school.

“The proportion of the population age 3-24 years that had left school at the census time was 32 percent. Of the total female population age 3-24 years, 33 percent had left school, while Zimbabwe, just like many [countries], is a male dominated country, it has emerged that the majority of Zimbabwean men have never been to school.”

However, a former cabinet minister and Zanu PF’s secretary for education, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu dismissed the report.

“Independent research done by the United Nations has shown Zimbabwe as being one of the most literate countries in Africa,” he said.

“Saying 51 percent of men in Zimbabwe have never attended school, I think, is totally untrue.

“The reason why we have been rated as one of the most literate populations is because various measures have been taken to ensure that every Zimbabwean is educated.

“There is at least a primary school in every village around the country and there is the recently introduced ECD [Early Childhood Development] age catchment in schools.”

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