Members of Parliament have implored Government to adequately fund the education sector and look into the welfare of teachers to ensure improved results of learners. They said this after the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Caine Mathema, tabled a Ministerial statement in Parliament on Tuesday on the 2020 Grade Seven Examination results. The results indicated poor performance by students compared to previous years.
In his statement, the Minister attributed the COVID-19 pandemic environment as one of the major causes of the low grades by students in 2020 since most of them were out of school.
Hon Tendai Biti (Harare East, MDC-T) said the issue of disinvestment in the education sector was a cause for concern adding that both high and lower primary school education now takes less than 9% of the budget which is inadequate to achieve good grades. He suggested that teachers should be paid in USD currency so that they perform well.
Hon Thokozani Khupe (Bulawayo MDC-T) echoed the same sentiments and urged Government to review the welfare of teachers and remunerate them well.
In the same vain, Hon Dexter Nduna (Chegutu West, ZANU PF) posed a pertinent question regarding how Government intended to bridge the gap between rural and urban schools in terms of performance as well as ensure there is access to internet in rural schools. He proposed the removal of duty on ICT gadgets to enhance e-learning and that every school at least has access to ICTs.
Bulawayo province had the highest pass rate (66.83%), followed by Harare with a pass rate of 66.5%. Matabeleland North recorded the least pass rate of 15.87%. Female candidates performed better than males in all the provinces.