Education System in Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwean education cycle takes 13 years to complete in 2 phases, namely primary and secondary school. Grade 1 begins when the child is aged approximately 6. The language medium in urban areas is English, while in rural areas teachers switch over to this from Shona or Ndebele only in grade 3. At the conclusion of grade 7 all pupils sit a national examination for which the defined subjects are English, maths, one indigenous language, and content (a combination of social and natural sciences).
Secondary schooling is divided into 2 phases based on the Cambridge 2-tier model. After 4 years, a pass is required in a minimum of 5 subjects to obtain O-Level. These core subjects include English, history, maths, science and a technical / vocational subject. A further 2 passes are required at the end of age 6 to qualify for A-Level.
The Ministry of Education and Technology regulates practical skills training programs at a variety of state and privately owned vocational training centers in the major urban hubs, while polytechnic training colleges cater for more advanced skills.
There are 7 universities in Zimbabwe offering diplomas and degrees. These include state and religiously funded ones, a women’s university, and a distance learning open university too.
By far the oldest of these is the University of Zimbabwe founded in 1952 through a special relationship with the University of London. It has ten faculties, and a variety of specialist research centers and institutes. It is currently on the rebound from a funding crisis, and student protests in 2008.