The UK provides US$ 37 million to improve education in Zimbabwe
THE United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has approved new funding of US$ 37 million (£24 million) to support the education sector in Zimbabwe.
The funds will allow the progress made under the Education Development Fund (EDF) to continue.
This includes the ‘School Improvement Grants ‘programme, which will focus on providing quality education for children in disadvantaged schools in rural areas.
Annabel Gerry, Head of DFID Zimbabwe said: “This additional funding for education sector in Zimbabwe demonstrates the UK’s continued commitment to ensuring access to quality schooling for all children.
“Through the School Improvements programme, up to four million pupils will benefit from improved lessons and teaching, helping to path the way to a bright future for Zimbabwe’s young people.”
This will be delivered through the UK’s partner UNICEF and activities will be closely aligned to the priorities of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
UNICEF Representative Reza Hossaini said: “As the latest improvements in learning outcomes and pass rates show, the contributions made by DFID and other development partners to education over the last 5 years, as well as resources from the Government, are beginning to bear fruit”.
“The challenge facing Zimbabwe at this critical juncture is to build on these gains by allocating more national resources to the sector, beyond just wages. It is the only guarantee for sustained improvements in the sector.”
The EDF aims to improve education in Zimbabwe through better planning, strengthening school monitoring and supervision, improving the quality of teaching and learning and reviewing the curriculum.
Key achievements of the EDF include: Grants to 5 800 schools, nationwide distribution of textbooks and science kits to all secondary schools, enrolment of 54 000 children in second chance education, provision of equipment to physically and mentally challenged children in all 32 Special Schools and deworming of over 2,7 million children in rural areas.
UK has one of the largest bilateral aid programmes in Zimbabwe. In 2015-16, the UK is focusing on strengthening its work on girls and women and increasing economic opportunities for the poorest people.
The EDF is multi-donor scheme which was established in 2009 to improve the education sector.
To date, a total of US$ 105 million has been provided by donors including the UK, Germany and the European Union.