There has been increasing international debate on what role the state plays in facilitating or promoting the right to education, and, more recently, in states in crisis. This latter development is due to growing evidence that attacked have been directed on education – schools, teachers, and pupils - by governments themselves or insurgents aspiring to take over government. In Zimbabwe, attacks on education have been recorded from the struggle against colonial rule, where schools provided recruiting grounds for freedom fighters. However, in post independent Zimbabwe, the attacks have been directed at teachers, either directly or indirectly. Education has been both politicized and militarised by the setting up of militia bases in schools, attacking teachers, and exposing pupils to violence. The Research and Advocacy Unit, in collaboration with the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), conducted a national survey in 2010 to document teachers’ experiences with elections. This culminated in two reports, “Every school has a story to tell: Preliminary Report of a study on teachers’ experiences with Elections in Zimbabwe” and “Political Violence and Intimidation of Zimbabwean Teachers”. The reports identified the profile of perpetrators of violence, and the types of attacks teachers had to contend with, including attacks in front of school children. Important to note from the findings is the politicization of education as well as militarization by setting up militia bases in schools. This paper contends that the long term impact of violence is now being experienced and has affected the quality of education in Zimbabwe.

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