The current Zimbabwean education system is based on Formal or mainstream and Non –Formal Education (NFE). Historically the creation of NFE was a close- gap measure for those who had been denied access to education prior to independence. NFE is an alternative pathway to access education through various programmes and provides relevant lifelong skills and survival knowledge in a flexible manner.
Currently the NFE has undertaken a National Longitudinal Study (2017 -2020). This is a cohort study of 3780 Grade 6 learners from 270 schools in the ten provinces of Zimbabwe on causes of drop outs. Findings from the final report will inform policy on causes and provides opportunities for interventions. The second undertaking by the NFE is the Syllabus Compression under Open Distance Learning. This is an accelerated learning for Primary and Secondary levels- to address the gap of those learners who have dropped out in formal schooling or getting second chance learning
Guiding policy documents
Operations of the Non Formal Education programmes are guided by the National Constitution; Education Act 2006; Updated Curriculum 2015 -2022; Non- Formal Education Policy of 2015 and other circulars.
Current Non Formal Education Programmes
The key role of NFE is to help cushion all those who are marginalized especially orphans, dropouts, and those with challenges in accessing formal education systems due to various factors, including poverty and long distances to school amongst other l factors. The various NFE programmes include:
Partnership Programmes for the NFE
NFE programmes have limited fiscal support and therefore engage with various partners to help in addressing some of the needs of out of school marginalized learners. The following educational partners have and are playing pivotal roles in supporting NFE programmes.