Due to large investments in education since independence, Zimbabwe has the highest adult literacy rate in Africa which in 2013 was 90.70%. This is lower than the 92% recorded in 2010 by the United Nations Development Programme and the 97.0% recorded in the 2002 census, while still substantially higher than 80.4% recorded in the 1992 census.
The education department has stated that 20,000 teachers have left Zimbabwe since 2007 and that half of Zimbabwe’s children have not progressed beyond primary school.
The rich people send their children to independent schools as opposed to the government-run schools which are attended by the majority as these are subsidized by the government. School education was made free in 1980, but since 1988, the government has steadily increased the charges attached to school enrollment until they now greatly exceed the real value of fees in 1980. The Ministry of Education of Zimbabwe maintains and operates the government schools but the fees charged by independent schools are regulated by the cabinet of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s education system consists of 2 years of pre-school, 7 years of primary and 6 years of secondary schooling before students can enter university in the country or abroad. The academic year in Zimbabwe runs from January to December, with three terms, broken up by one month holidays, with a total of 40 weeks of school per year. National examinations are written during the third term in November, with “O” level and “A” level subjects also offered in June.
There are seven public (Government) universities as well as four church-related universities in Zimbabwe that are fully internationally accredited. The University of Zimbabwe, the first and largest, was built in 1952 and is located in the Harare suburb of Mount Pleasant. Notable alumni from Zimbabwean universities include Welshman Ncube; Peter Moyo (of Amabhubesi); Tendai Biti, Chenjerai Hove, Zimbabwean poet, novelist and essayist; and Arthur Mutambara. Many of the current politicians in the government of Zimbabwe have obtained degrees from universities in USA or other universities abroad.
National University of Science and Technology (NUST) is the second largest public research university in Zimbabwe located in Bulawayo. It was established in 1991. The National University of Science and Technology strives to become a flourishing and reputable institution not only in Zimbabwe and in Southern Africa but also among the international fraternity of Universities. Its guidance, cultural values is the encouragement of all its members and society of those attitudes of fair mindedness, understanding, tolerance and respect for people and views which are essential for the attainment and maintenance of justice, peace and harmony at all times.
Africa University is a United Methodist related university institution located in Manicaland which attracts students from at least 36 African countries. The institution has been growing steadily and has steady study material and learning facilities. The highest professional board for accountants is the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) with direct relationships with similar bodies in South Africa, Canada, the UK and Australia. A qualified Chartered Accountant from Zimbabwe is also a member of similar bodies in these countries after writing a conversion paper. In addition, Zimbabwean-trained doctors only require one year of residence to be fully licensed doctors in the United States. The Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE) is the highest professional board for engineers.
Education in Zimbabwe became under threat since the economic changes in 2000 with teachers going on strike because of low pay, students unable to concentrate because of hunger and the price of uniforms soaring making this standard a luxury. Teachers were also one of the main targets of Mugabe’s attacks because he thought they were not strong supporters