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ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Struggle for Independence in Colonial Zimbabwe: Social Grievances

  • It was the second major grievance that the Africans held towards settlers
  • Education was compulsory for whites but this was not extended to blacks
  • African education was left in the hands of the missionaries and Africans themselves
  • The first governmental school was built in 1946 at Goromonzi
  • Todd Garfield’s somewhat progressive policy in education could not achieve much and included:
    1. It increased the number of government schools
    2. It separated the African education from African Affairs Department, having its own unit and Secretary
    3. It gave mission schools grants to introduce 4-year secondary courses
    4. It led to the building of 3 secondary schools in urban areas with 508 pupils by 1960
  • The reforms were however reversed by Edgar Whitehead under the Federation
  • The coming in of Ian Smith in 1964 also saw drastic changes in the African educational system
  • Teacher enrollment was reduced and the budget for African schools was cut
  • High school fees increased and this decreased enrolment
  • The bottleneck method was introduced at Grade 5 and 7 to reduce the number of those who passed these stages
  • There was a big gap between black and European education, for example, in 1969 the colonial government spent £9 per child whilst spending  £103 per European child
  • Education for Africans was believed to be for literacy only
  • Many guerillas who participated in the Second Chimurenga did so because they been denied education
  • The second Chimurenga is also associated with grievances of racial discrimination
  • African lived in dire poverty and were also faced with poor working conditions
  • Poverty was very high in the rural areas as the lands there were not productive

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.