Primary and secondary schools opened on Tuesday, January 13 in Zimbabwe. Among the students who started classes were Munhu’s 588 primary school students and 170 secondary school students. We thank the many donors who are contributing to the education of one or more of our students. It is your support that enables us to keep our students in school, and to give each of them an opportunity for a better and brighter future.
At the primary and secondary levels, the education system in Zimbabwe is similar to the education system in England, and different from the system in the United States. Primary education starts in Grade 1 for children around 6 to 7 years of age, and goes through Grade 7 when children are around 13 to 14 years of age, at which time they sit for the Grade 7 Examinations. Those who pass the examinations continue on to secondary school for four years, from Form 1 to Form 4. At the end of Form 4, students sit for Ordinary Level Examinations, known as O’ Levels for short. Those who pass O’ Levels proceed to high school––that is Form 5 and Form 6. At the end of Form 6, students sit for Advanced Level Examinations (A’ Levels) to determine whether they continue with further education to pursue a degree program at a university or a certificate program at one of the many vocational training colleges across the country.
The school year is divided into trimesters, called school terms, at the primary and secondary levels. The 1st term runs from mid-January to mid-April, the 2nd term from May to August, and the 3rd term from September to December. Students are required to pay tuition—also known as school fees—every school term. Some students, especially those who have been orphaned or those who come from poor families, are often turned away from school because they cannot afford tuition. Munhu’s goal is to support these students by paying their tuition until they reach their educational goals.
In addition to supporting students in primary and secondary schools, we also have students pursuing higher education. Three of our students, Nyasha M., Tapiwanashe M., and Edson M. are pursuing degree programs at the University of Zimbabwe. One student Priscilla M. is working toward a human resources certificate at Mutare Technical College, and another student Debra M. is working toward a teaching certificate at Belvedere Teacher’s College. Zimbabwe’s universities follow the semester system. At the University of Zimbabwe, the first semester runs from August to December, and the second runs from February to June.
We started in 2004 by supporting 15 children in about 10 villages, and today we support students who come from over 60 villages located across 5 of Zimbabwe’s 8 provinces. With your continued support, our vision is to keep increasing the number of students who benefit from Munhu’s education program each year.