‘Thousands missing secondary education’

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© THOUSANDS of children in rural areas are failing to attain secondary education due to poverty and economic challenges among other things, the 2019 Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey (MICS) results have shown.

This comes as schools have hiked fees, with the government saying schools should justify their reasons for increasing fees and seek permission before doing so.

The report revealed that thousands of children of secondary school going age have not been able to go to school in the last five years.

The report added that children from richer households are four times more likely to attend lower secondary than those from the poorest households.

“One in five children of lower secondary school age is out of school, more so boys (26 percent) than girls (21 percent). Lower secondary school net attendance was lowest in Matabeleland North Province, which recorded 43 percent,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Zimvac)’s latest report has shown that about 61 percent of school going children were sent home for failing to pay fees despite the Constitution guaranteeing that education is every child’s right.

“Though the government has made a pronouncement that no children should be turned away from school, the proportion of schoolchildren being sent home for non-payment of school fees remains high.

“There is need to enforce implementation and enhance monitoring of existing policies within the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education which promotes universal access to education,” the report said.

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