Cain Mathema, the Primary and Secondary Education Minister said that sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries and teacher indiscipline are partly to blame for the poor pass rate recorded in the 2020 Grade 7 examinations.
Mathema said this in a ministerial statement which he issued in the National Assembly following the release of Grade 7 results early this month. He said:
… we also need support from the international community in education as well, but as long as there are sanctions, we will have a big problem. We already have a challenge because of the economic sanctions that were imposed on our country.
Mathema also blamed the coronavirus crisis for the high failure rate in the Grade 7 examinations which he said hindered the smooth flow of the education calendar.
On the issue of paying teachers’ salaries in foreign currency, Mathema said the decision is made by Treasury but is certainly not possible in the current economic climate. He said:
As for the teachers being paid in US dollars, well, that decision is made by the relevant authority, that is, the Ministry of Finance.
It is definitely not feasible at the moment. We cannot pay them as we just said the economy is not performing.
Early this month, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson, George Charamba blamed the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe for the poor pass rate.