Zimbabwe - Education

Projected adult illiteracy rates for the year 2000 stand at 7.3% (males, 4.5%; females, 10.1%). A unitary system of education under the Ministry of Education has replaced the dual system of separate educational facilities for Africans and non-Africans formerly maintained by the Rhodesian government. Education is free and compulsory for eight years between the ages of 7 and 15. Secondary education lasts for six years.

In 1995, expenditure on education was estimated to account for 6.9% of GDP. In 1998 there were 2,507,098 students in 4,706 primary schools with 64,538 teachers. In the same year, general secondary schools had 30,482 teachers and a total enrollment of 847,296 students. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 41 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, 80% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 42% of those eligible attended secondary school. The government has developed a strong vocational school and apprenticeship system.

The University of Zimbabwe provides higher education on a multiracial basis. Other universities include the National University of Science and Technology and the Africa University. In 1996, there were 46,673 students in all higher-level institutions.

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