Zimbabwe commenced a programme of economic liberalisation in 1990. This report analyses secondary sources to examine how that process has affected the educational structures available to young people in the country.
The findings indicate that not all of the changes to the education system are the result of economic liberalisation. However, the study finds that some of these policies have had a significant direct impact on education, especially the removal of subsidies and the reduction in government spending on schools. Consequently, higher fees have caused enrolment rates, which were previously increasing, to stabilise, while drop-out rates have risen. Fees and costs exclude many young people from schooling and prevent access to tertiary institutions. This has particularly affected girls from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
While the rise in private education provision has increased the number of places at all levels of education and training, the fees charged by these institutions are inaccessible for most parents, particularly against a background of declining real incomes.
Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Report Number 16, 30 pp.