The Zimbabwean government has enacted a law that makes education compulsory for every Zimbabwean child up to the age of 16 to stem rising school dropout figures blamed on the poor state of the economy.
The education law has been amended to make sure children in Zimbabwe go to school for a total of 12 years, five years more than was previously prescribed.
Based on the reports published by the government, It is estimated that in some parts of the country 20% of the overall country’s children do not go to school.
The new law. However, went further to make it an offence to expel children for non-payment of school fees or for becoming pregnant. This literally means that even if a child can’t afford to pay up in either type of school, the school has no authority to send back home.
Last year according to the state’s Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVac), at least 60% of the children in primary school were sent home for failing to pay their tuition fee.
Moreover, Zimbabwe’s first leader Robert Mugabe, a former teacher who died last year, had enacted a law similar to this. He was praised for the education policies he adopted after independence in 1980.
The school system he created gave black Zimbabwean greater opportunity for education as hundreds of state schools were opened, leading to Zimbabweans enjoying among the highest literacy rates in Africa.