UN gives 13million books to Zimbabwean schools
The UN Children's Fund launched a scheme to provide 13 million textbooks to Zimbabwe's students, in a 50-million-dollar effort to revive the struggling school system.
Zimbabwe's schools were once among the best in Africa, but a decade of economic and political crisis saw teachers fleeing classrooms that had few books or other supplies.
"More than 13 million textbooks have been procured and from today, will be distributed to the 5, 500 primary schools," Peter Salama, UNICEF country representative said.
The books are expected to be distributed by the end of September, Salama said, in a programme financed by foreign aid.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said at the launch of the programme that his unity government with long-ruling President Robert Mugabe would restore schools to their former glory.
He said the government was committed "to provide social protection for the poor and the most vulnerable and the restoration of the education sector to its previous glory".
Tsvangirai also called on the government to ensure the welfare of teachers.
Many of Zimbabwe's teachers fled to South Africa after contested presidential elections in 2008, as they were singled out for political attacks by pro-Mugabe militants.