Zimbabwe and South Africa strengthens ties in education

 

Zimbabwe and South Africa strengthens ties in education
Zimbabwe and South Africa strengthens ties in education

Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshegka and Dr E Ndlovu, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in Zimbabwe, have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cement the bilateral relations in education. The Ambassador of Zimbabwe to South Africa His Excellency, Mr David Hamadziripi, also joined the MOU signing ceremony. The ceremony, which was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Dr Reginah Mhaule, took place at the DBE Offices on 18 August 2022. As part of the partnership, the Zimbabwean delegation and DBE senior officials entered into a robust discussion, in response to the valuable presentations made by key education stakeholders from both countries.


The Director-General for the Department of Basic Education, Mr Hubert Mathanzima Mweli, made his presentation on the South African Basic Education Sector at a glance. Mrs Olicah Kaira, Chief Director for Primary and Secondary Education presented on overview of the Zimbabwean Primary and Secondary Education System. In her presentation, Mrs Kaira, said that there were a lot of lessons that Zimbabwe could learn from South Africa. She stated that although South Africa has a vast education system as compared to Zimbabwe, it was still possible to share practices relating to the Foundation Phase up to the Further Education and Training (FET) phase. According to her, the visit made it possible for the Zimbabwean delegation to explore additional information on a number of strategies implemented by the basic education sector in South Africa.


“In Zimbabwe, the summative measurement of learning outcomes is conducted through public examinations at Grade 7, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level. The examinations encompass 30% of Continuous Assessment and 70% of a summative written examination for all candidates. The component of Continuous Assessment is in its second year running this year. It is a transformative assessment initiative by the Ministry to incorporate formative assessment into the overall Grade 7, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level learning outcomes. At the end of Grade 2, the Ministry carries out an internal assessment to rate the numeracy and literacy levels of the pupils before they proceed to Grade 3 and proffer educational interventions based on the findings and recommendations from the Annual Report,” Mrs Kaira highlighted and stated that COVID has compelled the Zimbabwean education system to introduce various intervention support initiatives to prevent further learning losses. “To mitigate challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic, our education sector adopted several strategies to ensure the continuity of learning. These include syllabus compression; blended teaching and learning; radio lessons, with offline access and hard copy resources for disadvantaged areas; e-learning platforms, including the Learning Passport; clinical and in-class remedial teaching; catch-up materials; and Open and Distance learning Modules.”


Director-General Mweli said that Zimbabwe and South Africa share common goals in several aspects of the education system, especially in areas of vocational education and training, as well as inclusive education. “I extend my gratitude to both ministers for the partnership; I am definitely sure that it will transform our education systems for the better,” he added. The Zimbabwean delegation showed key interest in replicating various education programmes implemented by South Africa. These include the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP), the Second Chance Matric Support Programme, the Read To Lead Campaign and participation in international studies such as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), Trends In International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality(SACMEQ). Minister Ndlovu said that her Department will work with the DBE to establish a Science Centre such as Sci-Bono Discovery Centre and the South African Council for Educators in Zimbabwe. Both Ministers committed that the Directors-General of both countries will work together to implement the cooperation.

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