The UK government in Zimbabwe has launched new learning materials to help 3.7 million learners catch up with their studies.
In Zimbabwe learners lost 190 days of learning time since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This has led to increases in school dropouts, particularly for girls due to early marriages and pregnancies.
Through the UK funded Teacher Effectiveness and Equitable Access for Children, known as TEACH as well as through the embassy’s centrally managed programme called the Girls Education Challenge, the UK has managed to help learners to get back on track.
Geraldine O’Callaghnan, Development Director of the UK Government in Zimbabwe said learners need support to catch up and continue their learning journeys.
“We know that learning was lost across all grades, so we are equally happy to hear that secondary schools also received materials and are proud to have offered this support,” O’Callaghan said.
The materials include, reading and numeracy and financial literacy cards, as well as the teacher’s guides for all grades.
Learners have also received solar radios, with USB ports to support remote secondary schools through radio lessons.
Speaking on the learners’ support supported by UNICEF, World Vision, CAMFED and Plan Zimbabwe, British ambassador to Zimbabwe Melanie Robinson said the Covid-19 pandemic had disadvantaged many children, hence need for urgent intervention.
“As a mother myself, I know how much interest in their children’s well-being and progress in school and just how difficult it was to see many of them out of school for so long during Covid. We know pupils in Zimbabwe and around the world lost months of valuable learning time because of lockdowns necessitated by the pandemic,” Robinson said.
“Experts warn that those loses can lead to long term disadvantages for children and economies and countries they are growing up in if they are not given an opportunity to catch up,” she added.