An Evaluation Of The Mushrooming Of New 'Independent Colleges' in Zimbabwe With Special Emphasis On The Education Of The Urban Child, 2000-2009
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Using Harare city centre and its respective high density suburbs as case studies, this paper is an attempt to uncover the complexities of the provision of education that were brought about by the unstable political and economic situation in Zimbabwe from 2000. This situation reversed almost all of the government's efforts in strengthening the education system since 1980. Education institutions, in this case, secondary schools were affected in terms of both teaching staff and infrastructural resources. Boarding schools were without teachers and food to feed the pupils. However, individual case studies in this paper have shown that the sprouting of these independent colleges Worsened the decline of the education system. Most parents had withdrawn their children out of formal schools and enrolled them in these colleges that also failed to adequately provide for them. Some of these colleges used an internationally recognized Board of examination, University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate. However, this new crop of private colleges offers tuition to even the average classes in society and is sprout across Harare's high density suburbs as well as the city centre. Taking into consideration a number of issues such as school curriculum, examinations, extra-curricular activities, location of schools, special needs education and security, this paper concludes that independent colleges did nothing to rescue the decline of the education system in Zimbabwe during the period under review.