Zimbabwe

Zim leads Africa in adult literacy – report

2014-06-12 14:59

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Cape Town – Zimbabwe continues to fly high in Africa's literacy rankings with the latest survey putting the country’s literacy rate at 90.7%.

This is despite a decade long economic crisis that has impacted quite negatively on the quality of education in that country.

The rankings published by The African Economist Magazine show Equatorial Guinea in second place at 87% and South Africa in third position at 86.4%.

The magazine defines literacy as the ability to read and write at the age of 15 and above.

Economic crisis

According to New Zimbabwe.com, President Robert Mugabe is credited for Zimbabwe's high literacy rate after he declared education a basic human right following independence in 1980.

Mugabe’s government invested heavily in expanding education access to the previously marginalised black majority, the report says.

However, the debilitating economic crisis which hit the country between 2000 and 2009, reversed the progress as poorly paid teachers engaged in endless strikes with many fleeing to neighbouring countries in search of better pay.

Children from poor families were forced to drop out of school after they failed to pay school fees, the report said.

Organisations such as the Unicef and other development partners have managed to intervene and helped combat the problems associated with lack of books and supplies as well as the shortage of resources in general.

- News24

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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