5,000 children in Zimbabwe catch up on lost learning
Plan’s emphasis on education gives students in Zimbabwe a chance to improve their grades
Melinda, a 13-year-old girl in seventh grade at Nevada Primary School, could not hide her fear and anguish after being told that she had failed her end of term exam, barely two months before her final examination – the exam that would determine whether or not she moved on to the next grade.
She shivered as she reflected on what had befallen the majority of girls from the senior class who had failed their final exams: unable to pass on to secondary school, many of the girls had been forced into early marriages, some had joined other children living in the street, and others had become child laborers.
Teachers’ strike leads to student losses
Melinda and her friends were experiencing the devastating effects of a teachers’ strike that had extended from August 2008 until February 2009. While the teachers had eventually returned to their classrooms, the students never recovered the time they had lost.
“If nothing is done immediately, the chances are great that these students will also not pass their final exams,” said a teacher who preferred to remain anonymous.
Go to school on a weekend? No problem!
Fortunately, something was done immediately. With Plan’s assistance, 110 primary schools were soon receiving the support necessary to help prepare over 5,000 students for their final examinations.
Melinda and her friends were soon studying to take their final Grade 7 examinations with a renewed determination and with much more hope for their future. And Melinda, at least, doesn’t seem to mind that this involves holiday and weekend lessons.
“Plan’s intervention is coming at the right time, especially for us girls, as we hardly have enough time to study due to our multiple roles at home,” said Melinda, speaking while surrounded by her friends who nodded in affirmation. “We will use this opportunity to study hard and prove that given an equal opportunity, girls can also do it,” she continued with much conviction.
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