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This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2011) Education in Zimbabwe Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture David Coltart General Details Primary Languages: Shona, Ndebele, English System Type: October 17, 1979 May 4, 1980 Literacy (2003 est.[1]) Total: 90.7 Male: 94.2 Female: 87.2 Education in the government-run schools of Zimbabwe was made free in 1980. However, since 1988, the government has steadily increased the charges attached to school enrollment until they now greatly exceed the real value of fees in 1980. The majority of the wealthier portion of the population send their children to independent schools, while the government-run schools are attended by the poorer members of the black population.[2] The Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture of Zimbabwe maintains and operates the government schools but the fees charged by independent schools are regulated by the Cabinet of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has an adult literacy rate of approximately 90%[1] which is amongst the highest in Africa. However, since 1995 the adult literacy rate of Zimbabwe has steadily decreased which is a trend shared by other African countries. Contents 1 School grades 2 Extracurricular activities 3 Normal Ages 4 See also 5 References 6 External links School grades Zimbabwe's education system consists of 7 years of primary, 4 years of secondary schooling and 2 years of high school before students can enter an university in country or abroad. The academic year in Zimbabwe runs from January to December, with three month terms, broken up by one month holidays, with a total of 40 weeks of school per year. National examinations are written during the third term in November, with "O" level and "A" level subjects also offered in June. These are administered by the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council. Extracurricular activities A major characteristic of Zimbabwean schools is the high priority given to sports, clubs and activities by the community, the parents, the schools and the students themselves. Extracurricular activities are educational activities not falling within the scope of the regular curriculum but under the supervision of the school. These activities can extend to large amounts of time outside the normal school day; home-schooled students, however, are not normally allowed to participate. Student participation in sports programs, drill teams, bands, and spirit groups can amount to hours of practices and performances. Normal Ages Primary school (Grade 1) starts from age six: children applying for Grade 1 intake are supposed to be turning six before August of the previous year. Secondary school intake (Form 1) is on the basis of successful completion of Grade 7. Thus most children starting Form 1 are in the year when they turn 13 years old. See also Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Zimbabwe National Council for Higher Education, Zimbabwe List of Schools in Zimbabwe References ^ a b CIA World Factbook ^ Haru Mutasa. (27 February 2010). Zimbabwe education system in crisis. Al Jazeera English. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4faQmq9PAa8. Retrieved 14 February 2011.  External links Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Education Statistics and Quality of Education in Zimbabwe, Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) v · d · eEducation in Africa Sovereign states Algeria · Angola · Benin · Botswana · Burkina Faso · Burundi · Cameroon · Cape Verde · Central African Republic · Chad · Comoros · Democratic Republic of the Congo · Republic of the Congo · Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) · Djibouti · Egypt · Equatorial Guinea · Eritrea · Ethiopia · Gabon · The Gambia · Ghana · Guinea · Guinea-Bissau · Kenya · Lesotho · Liberia · Libya · Madagascar · Malawi · Mali · Mauritania · Mauritius · Morocco · Mozambique · Namibia · Niger · Nigeria · Rwanda · São Tomé and Príncipe · Senegal · Seychelles · Sierra Leone · Somalia · South Africa · Sudan · Swaziland · Tanzania · Togo · Tunisia · Uganda · Zambia · Zimbabwe States with limited recognition Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic · Somaliland Dependencies and other territories Canary Islands / Ceuta / Melilla / Plazas de soberanía (Spain) · Madeira (Portugal) · Mayotte / Réunion (France) · Saint Helena / Ascension Island / Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom) · Western Sahara