HARARE – Teachers’ unions in Zimbabwe have ridiculed the ambitious plans by government to introduce free primary education next year, saying it was just pre-election talk.
In 2018 during election period, the government of Zimbabwe announced that it would provide free basic education by 2019.
Fast forward to March 2022, President Emmerson Mnangagwa made similar remarks saying he will provide free education from 2023.
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Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, president Takavafira Zhou has since dismissed the promise as fiction and cheap politicking by Mnangagwa as the much anticipated 2023 watershed election draws near.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that’s impossible after nothing materialized in 2018. The call for free education is probably nothing more than political jokes and homiletic acts of war.
“We have heard of this political opportunism before in the 2018 election and nothing materialized after the election,” Zhou was quoted saying by a local publication.
He said government would need $109,973,460 per term for primary students numbering 3,665,782 and $56,578,650 for secondary students numbering 1,131,573 nationally.
According to statistics, to successfully rollout the plan the total need per term in 2023 would be approximately $166,552,110 if every student received free elementary education based on enrollment.