Education System in Zimbabwe


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryPrimary School176127 
MiddleJunior High8913142Zimbabwe Junior Certificate
SecondarySecondary101115172General Certificate of Education: "O" Level Studies
Post-secondary"A" Level Courses121315172All secondary schools offering ‘A’ level studies are ‘national schools’ and selection into them is closely monitored by the Ministry to ensure that their enrolments reflect the national character and that admissions are based on proven high achievement in the ‘0’ level examinations. The only exception concerns gender considerations which permit girls to be admitted with slightly lower examination results than boys; this is part of the government’s strategy to encourage more women to enter the field of higher education.
VocationalVocational Education      
TertiaryBachelor    3 
TertiaryMaster    1 
TertiaryDoctorate    3 

Primary Education

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 Education

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.

Vocational Education

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.

Tertiary Education

Zimbabwe EducationThere 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.


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