Education in zimbabwe comprises two years of pre-primary school, now known as Early Childhood Development (ECD), which is offered to children from the ages of 3 to 5, seven years of primary education, four years of O' level education, 2 years of Advanced level education. Students may opt to continue to tertiary education upon completion. They can opt to go to colleges and vocational institutions or universities.
The country’s education system is regulated through the Education Act of 1987, which makes education a fundamental right. Pre-Schools, primary and secondary schools are run by the government, local authorities, religious organizations, private organizations, and independent trusts.
In 2017, the Government adopted a new curriculum framework that is expected to run until 2022 which aims to promote competence and skills that will enable learners to have equal opportunities to develop their potential. It also aims to ensure a smooth transition from school to work through the study of a wide range of subjects that include sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Education in Zimbabwe is governed by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. In all public schools, the fees are pegged by the Government. Education from ECD level up to high school runs on a term system, comprising 3 terms, with the first term running from January to April, 2nd term running from May to June, and the 3rd term running from September to December.
International Schools are also available in Zimbabwe and offer education for an international student body including locals and ex-pats. Some of these schools usually follow a curriculum model from the United States, the UK, or France, to mention but a few, and offer similar standards o most schools around the world. These provide for an easy transition between schools wherever the student goes.
The primary language used in English, though other languages may be used. Space however is often very limited and Tuition tends to be more expensive. The schools offer high learning standards smaller classes, first-class, state-of-the-art facilities. Admission and enrollment procedures here vary depending on the school.
Zimbabwe Pre School Education
- Duration of study: 2 years
- Ages : 3-5 years
- Levels : ECD A and ECD B
- Primary Languages: English, Ndebele, and Shona
- Other languages: Venda, Sotho, Nambya, Kalanga, Tonga
- Tuition Range: ZWL$1000-ZWL$3000 per term (Government Centres)
- Terms : 3 (1st term- January to early April, 2nd Term- May to August, and 3rd Term September to December)
- Admission Term: 1st Term (January)
- ECD School Types: Public, and Private.
Early Childhood Development Education (ECD) is a program that provides for the care and education of children from birth to about 5 years involving elements of both physical care and education. Currently, all primary schools are automatically registered to provide ECD A and B. Generally, ECD A is a class for children aged 3 to 4, and ECD B is a class for children ages 4 to 5. Upon completion of ECD B, students will then be eligible to continue to Grade 1 (primary school).
Public ECD Schools are generally affordable while private ones can be quite costly. Private ECD schools offer a variety of activities as compared to public ones. Fees for private ECD centers vary depending on the center and city. Most centers now charge US$100, tuition only, and above excluding transport, and groceries to be used by the children at the center.
Background of ECD in Zimbabwe
The ECD program is a Post-Independent initiative introduced to correct the imbalances related to education. The ECD program in Zimbabwe has officially been in existence since 1972 and was referred to as Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). In 2004 Zimbabwe introduced a national ECD policy which requires primary schools to offer a minimum of two ECD classes, namely ECD A and ECD B, for children between 3-5 years, before they enroll for Grade 1, allowing every child to have equal access to education in Zimbabwe. The National Early Childhood Development (NECD) program was mainly targeted at pre-school children in rural areas who had limited or no access to early childhood level education
Classification of Pre-Schools in Zimbabwe- Pre-schools in Zimbabwe can be classified into but not limited to the following:
- Pre-primary school Centres
Early Childhood Development A
This level is designed to educate and enrich each child socially, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and aesthetically and involves the use of various techniques. Children here are active participants in the learning process and activities involve a lot of playing to encourage interaction and conversation between children. This is a class for 3 to 4-year old students. Children in these classes develop their skills and learn through exploration and play. Upon completion of this stage, the child will graduate to the ECD B class.
Early Childhood Development B
The ECD B class is a class generally for 4 to 5-year-olds. This level aims to nurture the total development of the child, physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. It focuses on the learning and the development of skills that will prepare the child to meet the new challenges of mainstream education. This level promotes socialization and reading or writing readiness and developmental programs that emphasize independence and social group skills.
Early Childhood Development Curriculum
The core ECD curriculum incorporates learning areas such as Mathematics and science, English, Indigenous languages, Family and heritage studies, Visual and Performance Arts, Mass Display, Physical Education, Guidance and Counselling, and Information Technology.
International schools offering Early Childhood Development in Zimbabwe.
The following are some of the international schools which offer the best ECD education in Zimbabwe and which enroll international students.
The Harare International School
Provides education for students from the age of 3 and upwards. It is an international, co-educational, day school in Harare that is funded by the US Department of State's Office for Overseas Schools. Education for Early childhood is divided into EC1 and EC2, an equivalent of ECD A and B. The fees for 2020-2021 for ECD education are as follows:
- Tuition fees: EC1 $6 600
- EC2 $9 100
- Capital levy: EC1 and EC2 $6 600 per child
- Tech levy: EC1 and EC2 $100 per child
Littlerock International School
Offers Early Childhood Development education at its Milton Campus. It offers boarding facility Students pay a non-refundable registration fee of $50USD. Tuition is pegged at US$300 and students also have to pay a stationery fee of US$60 per year. All stationery and boarding fees are to be paid before schools open.
Bishopslea Preparatory School for Girls
The school has an Early Childhood Development Nursery school that provides a caring and stimulating environment where the students can enjoy learning through play and grow in confidence to develop to their full potential. The school has a dedicated contingent of teachers who strive to prepare their pupils fully for Grade 1. ECD at the school focuses on various areas including:
- Language and social skills- that enable students to learn to follow instructions and interact easily with their peers.
- Self-care and behavior.
- Gross and fine motor coordination and pre-writing efficiency.
- Visual and auditory perception.
- Shona, music, computers, and physical education.
The school offers a boarding facility and enrolment places are limited.