The Division is primarily responsible for the administration of all Council Primary Schools, Early Childhood Education and Care Centres, Council Libraries and Vocational Training Centres in Greater Harare. The Division endeavours to provide education that meets or surpasses the expectations of relevant government Ministries and other stakeholders.
Early Childhood Education and Care Centres (Pre-schools)
City of Harare is currently running 37 Pre-Schools in Harare’s High Density areas. These Early Childhood Development Centres offer early childhood education to communities that cannot afford higher fees that are charged by private Pre-schools. The pre-schools are child friendly as they have spacious classrooms and play centres equipped with various items for play.
Council Pre-schools are divided into two categories, that is, Half and Full Day Centres. In fact fifteen Centres are Full Day Centres while the rest are Half Day. It is the Division’s great interest to ensure that recommended standards are maintained despite the fact that resources are scarce.
Education Division is currently running 32 Council Schools that are located in high density suburbs. The City employs the Bursar, Senior Clerical Officer and Caretaker. These are responsible for the day to day administration of the school under the supervision of the School Head. The Division has been running these institutions successfully and also producing pleasing results. School Development Committees also assist Council in the administration of Council Primary in many ways including the repair of school buildings, maintenance of school grounds, collection of levies and fees at the school and general administration of the school.
It is important to note that the City has not been building schools in all high density suburbs owing to critical shortage of funds. The World Bank pulled out in 2002 and since then no school has been built. There is need for more primary schools in Greater Harare because the number of children who enroll at Council Pre-Schools, Private Creches and other institutions is growing exponentially. Demand for primary schools continues to grow every year.
Vocational Training Centres (VTC)
The Division administers one VTC in Mbare and co-administers the VTC in Budiriro together with Social Service Division which also runs its youth training programmes at the same centre. The center in Mbare offered technical courses which include carpentry, building, welding, leather technology, upholstery and bookbinding. However, for the past three years, these courses were no longer being conducted at Budiriro VTC due to shortage of skilled instructors as most of them had sought employment elsewhere during the times of economic downturn, that is, before the government of national unity. On the other hand Social Services Division has not been fully utilizing the Centre in Budiriro due to failure to enroll applicants interested in the interior décor and pottery courses offered.
Challenges at the Vocational Training Centre in Mbare
Most of the equipment is obsolete thus Council needs to procure new machinery. Council should encourage the corporate World to chip in and assist prospective students at Vocational Training Centres. The Centre was established in 1963 and now needs to be revamped and renovated.
City of Harare is currently running nine libraries in most of the high density areas. Students from Primary Schools, Private Colleges and Secondary Schools are the main beneficiaries. These Libraries maintain good rapport with communities and promote a very good reading culture for the young generation.
The City Libraries are now dilapidated and most of them are in sorry state – notably, Waterfalls, Highfield and Glen View Libraries. There is an urgent need to renovate and repair these libraries otherwise their status will be reduced to empty shells in the near future. Most of the library roofs are leaking thereby exposing precious books to moist conditions. Kuwadzana Library has not been completed yet. Construction and repair of libraries need serious consideration.
Libraries should also move with time. Lack of computerization in Council Libraries negates the spirit of technological advancement.