ZANU PF Senator for Manicaland Province Dorothy Mabika says the government should prioritise the construction of school infrastructure and recruitment of teachers for early childhood development (ECD), reported NewsDay.
Speaking in the Senate on Wednesday, Mabika said that the education sector was facing several challenges, among them a shortage of teachers.
Her motion was seconded by ZANU PF Senator for Mashonaland Central, Eleven Kambizi. Said Mabika:
The architecture of our education system is a 2-7-4-2-structure, meaning two years of ECD, seven years of primary education, four years of secondary education, and two years of higher secondary education.
The 92% literacy rate that we boast of is built on this structure. However, the latest population census has shown a significant increase in population, which, therefore, points to a requirement to increase school infrastructure and all the associated resources.
As of March 2017, the sector had 427 800 learners taught by 4 000 teachers, with 5 800 more teachers required. Only 21.6% of those aged 36 to 59 months were attending the ECD programme.
It was also identified that there is a need to build the capacity of existing educational officials to provide a sound grounding in ECD philosophy, approaches and methods.
Mabika urged the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to prioritise the funding of ECD teaching. She said:
To achieve or correct all of the above, one thing is very critical — funding.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education needs to protect and emphasise its development plan to satisfy the ECD requirements.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must be encouraged to place a high priority on the development of ECD infrastructure and its associated requirements.