Government is introducing technical high schools and science academies to promote the development of specialised skills in secondary schools, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima said yesterday.
The schools of excellence will be operational next year.
Government’s initial plan is to use the existing schools with infrastructure that can support the technical high schools and science academies with its ultimate goal being the construction and equipping of all the other schools in Zimbabwe.
The technical high schools and science academies certificates that will be churned out by Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) are standardised and at par with an Advanced Level certificate, with holders privileged to enrol at university.
Minister Mavima explained that learners could “skip” A’ Level and proceed straight to institutions of Higher and Tertiary Education, with the choice being incumbent upon the learner, parent or guardian.
Minister Mavima said the setting up of the schools of excellence was part of his vision in science and technical areas.
“As a ministry we decided to come up with these schools of excellence that favours competence of learners in their respective areas of choice with the targeted subjects of learning being technical and science ones.
“The least number of schools we are targeting to start with countrywide is 10 that is one per each province. So far a tentative list has been done and will be short listing them soon,” he said.
“Our target schools are existing ones that already have suitable infrastructure for technical and science learning. These we are going to quickly resource them to facilitate the start of this project. In terms of funding, we are getting a large chunk from the fiscus, but education being everyone’s business parents can also chip in, but entirely the project is a Government thing with no outside source of funding.”
The introduction of the schools of excellence follows the slow death of technical subjects like woodwork, food and nutrition as well as metal work in secondary schools.