Unicef has procured some 4.7 million primary and secondary school textbooks to benefit 4,383 disadvantaged primary schools and 1,211 disadvantaged secondary schools in all 72 districts of the country.
The textbooks were presented to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for distribution. This is Phase 2 of UNICEF's textbook procurement: an investment of almost US$6.6 million. The books are for learners in Early Childhood Development (ECD B), grades 1-4 and forms 1-4.
Under Phase 1 of the procurement, UNICEF distributed just over 2.3 million textbooks which now benefit over 1.5 million learners in 5,594 disadvantaged primary and secondary schools.
Presenting the Phase 2 textbooks to Honourable Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Prof. Paul Mavima, UNICEF Education Manager, Dr Chiharu Kondo emphasized UNICEF's commitment to supporting the education sector and children in Zimbabwe.
"UNICEF commends the Ministry for the tremendous effort which it is making in the rollout of the new competency-based curriculum. UNICEF is committed to supporting this major process that the government of Zimbabwe has embarked upon. As we continue to work as partners, I am confident that we will take the Education sector to the next level in the very near future," said Dr Kondo.
In his remarks, Honourable Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Prof. Paul Mavima said, "We are happy with the Phase 2 procurement and distribution which comes at an opportune time as learners will access these books as they begin in 2019.
"The total investment for learning materials between the Government of Zimbabwe and development partners in 2018 alone is US$12.1 million.
This shows the dedication that we are working hard towards providing every learner, especially in the disadvantaged schools, with access to quality educational materials and infrastructure. We must equalize opportunities for learners and build a prosperous Zimbabwe."
In addition to textbooks, UNICEF is procuring some 12,600 standard primary science kits to benefit 4,377 disadvantaged primary schools in all districts across the country.
The science kits will support the Ministry's thrust to promote the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, through the competency-based curriculum. The textbooks and kits will be delivered to districts in the first quarter of 2019.
Touring UNICEF warehouses where the textbooks are stored before distribution to schools, Deputy Minister, Honourable Edgar Moyo said, "Money in education is an investment into the future. It is the Government of Zimbabwe's desire to see our children access learning resources and see Zimbabwe develop."