By Sethulo Moyo
The events of the recent nationwide shutdown in Zimbabwe may have negatively impacted the quality of education for female students.
The disruption of transport services by protesters compromised daily learning forcing female students to abandon their studies and flee as the protests escalated.
Even in the aftermath of the shutdown, regular learning did not continue as fear gripped many schools, parents and students.
Transport disruptions added to the chaos as omnibus operators increased prices beyond the reach of many parents forcing citizens to walk to school and work.
For those female students learning in the city, walking to school from homes in the western areas may have taken a toll on their ability to get to school and concentrate fully if at all they did get to school.
Nomacebo Khumalo a mother of two, O’Level and A’Level candidates told Amakhosikazi that the shut down had affected the students because they had been going to school to sit idle.
“Our children are going to school to be idle and there is waste of resources in terms of transport money. Transport money has gone up and we struggle to get the money and give our children only for them not to be learning at school.
One A’Level candidates Thandiwe Mangena said that they are going to school to read on their own because teachers are not available. Those who are available do not teach because the class will not be complete, she said.
“We are facing examinations this year but we are not learning. I walk to school because affordable transport is not available and only to not learn. I am afraid that I will not reach my pass target of 15 points”, commented Thandiwe.
Making matters even dire is the threatened strike action by teachers who have been calling for salary hikes since before the fuel price increases. With the worsening economic situation it is yet to be seen how the education sector will fare under these circumstance and how this will ultimately impact female students.