Education For All In Zimbabwe: A Mirage?
Mavhunga, Pharoah Joseph
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This paper assesses Zimbabwe’s efforts towards the attainment of, the goals of Education For All, (EFA) as determined and agreed upon at the World Conference on Education For All (WCEFA) held in Jomtien, Thailand in 1990 and re-affirmed in Dakar, Senegal in 2000. While Zimbabwe has been noted to have made huge strides in increasing access to education for previously marginalized Africans during the first decade of independence from Britain, there is need to take stock of progress in recent years against a background of socioeconomic decline experienced in the country since the early 1990s, more so since the year 2000.The introduction of the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) marked the beginning of a phase of reduced government funding of social services sectors, education included. This saw the re-introduction of school fees arid various levies in both primary and secondary schools, negatively impacting oh access to education, particularly by children from disadvantaged groups such as those from impoverished rural, farming and mining communities. Added to this is the HIV/AIDS phenomenon that has ravaged communities particularly in the last decade, leaving a considerable number of children orphaned and without a means of sustaining their livelihoods in general and to pay school fees in particular. Then came the economic down-tum of the last decade, but particularly pronounced since the year 2000, again.rendering more families poorer and with a reduced capacity to pay fees for school going children. It:is against this background, that this paper scrutinizes Zimbabwe's efforts towards the attainment, of the ERA goals. Is Zimbabwe still on course?