April 11, 2017
The Sunday Mail, a Zimbabwean newspaper, recently published an article highlighting Zimbabwe’s nonformal education program. The initiative provides educational services to children, adolescents, and adults unable to complete formal schooling because of financial or social concerns. It was introduced by the Government of Zimbabwe and receives support from external organizations including Bantwana.
Nonformal education (NFE) encompasses a variety of programs, such as basic literacy, adult basic education, part-time and continuing education (PTCE), and a functional literacy program which applies academic skills to further entrepreneurial and financial success.
The Zimbabwe NFE program endeavors to provide education services to those who lack formal schooling, but have met enrollment challenges for a variety of reasons. Chief among the barriers to enrollment is students’ inability to cover the fees necessary to pay NFE class teachers and keep the program running. Another factor that negatively affects enrollment is a lack of awareness about the program amongst people who would otherwise be ideal candidates for NFE. Bantwana is working with the Education Coalition of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to increase awareness about the program, thereby strengthening enrollment.
World Education/Bantwana supports nonformal education in Zimbabwe through the Second Chance Education model, which is a part of its diverse portfolio of programs in Zimbabwe, spanning health, child protection, economic strengthening, and education. This second chance education model, like nonformal education, aims to provide education to marginalized children who have been forced to drop out of formal schooling due to difficult life circumstances. Second Chance Education targets orphaned children, HIV-positive children, and those who have had to shoulder the burden of homelessness or becoming the head of household after losing their parents.
Bantwana is proud to support the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Government of Zimbabwe in delivering alternative education options to children and adults who would not receive schooling otherwise. Nonformal education is a chance to provide youth with the skills they need for social, academic, and financial success.