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Disastrous start to new Zimbabwe school term

Disastrous start to new Zimbabwe school term

by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – HUNDREDS of children and some teachers have failed to report for the new school term after the devastating impact by the Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe.

Thousands of children face a dire future as schools open for the new term next week due to effects of over a month Cyclone Idai floods’ destruction of properties

The new term started on Tuesday.

A survey by humanitarian groups on 60 affected schools east of the country established that schools opened their doors amid a shortage of teaching and learning material, damaged or destroyed infrastructure, a reduction in staffing, low attendance rates of teachers and learners who require a range of support.

Less than a quarter of enrolled children were attending.

This is the situation in one-third of the schools surveyed. Two on five schools reported children’s attendance was significantly below what it was before the cyclone crisis in March.

More than half of the schools reported a shortage of teachers.

Some 139 schools in six districts were impacted by Cyclone Idai that hit Zimbabwe in March.

This represents a significant risk to the learning and wellbeing of about 91 000 school-aged girls and boys.

Chimanimani and Chipinge districts in Manicaland province (eastern Zimbabwe) were the worst affected districts in terms of the scale and scope of damage to school infrastructure, teaching and learning material.

A majority of the schools reported losses of sanitation facilities and water supply.

The cyclone claimed at least 344 lives, with at least 257 people missing.

An estimated 270 000 people were affected by the storms.

– CAJ News

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