Minister blames poor grade 7 results on sanctions, covid-19


Zimbabwe’s Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Cain Mathema, blamed sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries, corona virus and striking teachers for this year’s poor Grade 7 examination results. How typical, blame everyone else except the principal culprit – the Zanu PF government itself.

Minister Cain Mathema

“During this period (2009 to 2014) like in 2020, teachers were involved in industrial action (strikes) or were claiming incapacitation to carry out their work. There was no meaningful teaching in some schools. These are the factors that affect pass rates in any country in the world,” said Minister Mathema.

Zimbabwe’s education services has been in decline for decades for two main reasons:

It is no secrete that Mugabe’s rapid expansion of the education sector was about quantity at the expense of quality suffered.

As the country’s economic meltdown started in earnest in the late 1990s, it was education, health and other services affecting the ordinary people that were sacrificed. Decades of poor funding have resulted in the exodus of qualified staff and those left behind were “incapacitated”!

Yes the corona virus lockdowns have caused serious disruption but this was adding another layer of problems on top a system that was already failing to cope. Even if the coronavirus challenges were addressed by vaccinating the 10 million to reach head-immunity targets, the country will still have to deal with the problem of incapacitated teachers, nurses, etc.

President Mnangagwa claims there are signs of economic recovery and the country will achieve the target of middle income by 2030, vision 2030. This is just a pie in the sky!

A recent nationwide skilled personal survey showed that Zimbabwe has 12% or less engineers, doctors, farmers and teachers than what the country will need to achieve any meaningful single digit economic growth targets, much less the 20% plus growth rate demanded by vision 2030. Indeed, the country is even failing to gainfully employ the few skilled professionals in the country.

To revive our education and health service we must first revive the country’s comatose economy. And to revive the comatose economy we must first end the curse of corruption and bad governance; we must first end the curse of rigged elections by implementing the democratic reforms – the prerequisite for free, fair and credible elections.

As much as Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF cronies do not want to hear anything about reforms and free, fair and credible elections; it is nonetheless the grime reality that, without reforms, this country is doom.

Ever since the country’s 1980 independence elections, Zanu PF has blatantly rigged the elections and denied the people a meaningful say in the governance of the country. The failure to remove a corrupt and incompetent government is the root cause our economic and political crisis. Zanu PF has held the nation to ransom for decades and this must now end. The people’s right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country must be restored as a matter of course and the nation’s survival.

Zimbabwe must implement the democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible elections BEFORE the coming 2023 elections. If the elections go ahead with no reforms implemented; the signs are Zanu PF will not implement any reforms and the opportunistic opposition, the usual suspect, will participate regardless; then the plebiscite MUST be declared null and void!

After 40 years and counting of rigged elections, we must break this vicious cycle by refusing to give legitimacy to a flawed and illegal election process. How can an election be free, fair and credible when ZEC cannot produce something as basic as a verified voters roll!

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