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80% pupils fail to access education





OVER 80 percent internally displaced persons' children in cyclone prone areas in eastern Zimbabwe have been struggling to access education, the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) has said.

This comes after Cyclone Idai hit the provinces of Manicaland and Masvingo in 2019, bringing torrential rains and winds that caused flash flooding and subsequent destruction of homes. Hundreds of people were killed.

The IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), which is being supported by the government and United Nations and USAid and various development partners, established that for the months of February and March an average of at least 80 percent of children at all levels of schooling were facing constraints in getting education.

The DTM follows the phased re-opening of schools which began with examination classes on March 15 while the rest of the pupils returned to school on March 22.

According to the DTM, in February and March, in Chimanimani 84 percent of pupils had no money to pay school fees, 60 percent endured bad terrain, distance and transport constraints and 15 percent lacked learning materials.

"Education challenges for primary school children included 40 percent without teaching and learning material, insufficient infrastructure and one percent of lack of teachers.

"For secondary school children, 76 percent did not have school fees, 33 percent had family and other priorities and 33 percent insufficient infrastructure," reads the DTM.

"In Buhera, 87 percent of pre-school children lacked money to pay school fees, 54 percent reported bad terrain and transport constraints, nine percent lacked learning materials. 77 percent of secondary school going children did not have money to pay school fees, 42 percent had family priorities and 22 percent lacked teachers.

"In Chipinge, 93 percent of pre-school going children and 89 percent at secondary level did not have funds for school fees while 76 percent had family and other priorities inhibiting them from attaining education and 22 percent lacked teaching material."

The eastern parts of Zimbabwe have in recent years been prone to harsh weather conditions as evidenced by tropical cyclones Idai, Charlane and Eloise which affected a large number of people between 2019 and 2021.

From February 22 to March 5, in close coordination with the local authorities, the United Nations migration agency conducted the return, reintegration and recovery survey in the form of a multi-sectoral village assessment of 434 villages.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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