Rwanda's Offer To Zimbabwean Teachers, Tip of the Iceberg - PTUZ
The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has said the offer made by Rwanda to have Zimbabwean teachers sent to the Central/Eastern African country is just a tip of an iceberg. PTUZ speaks after the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame suggested that Zimbabwe could offer good teachers to Rwanda. Dr Takavafira Zhou, PTUZ president who is also a senior official in the opposition MDC Alliance said:
Rwanda’s Offer to Zimbabwean Teachers, Tip of the Iceberg
As PTUZ, we have over a long period approached the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education with suggestions for government to government agreements for export of teachers at regional, continental and global levels. Such agreements could go a long way in enabling teachers to make money over a period of 5 to 20 years which they can ultimately invest in Zimbabwe in general and education system in particular. Sadly, our suggestions have over a long period been snubbed. We remain disturbed by a mere closetion with Rwandan offer when the whole of Southern African countries are getting teachers from Zimbabwe on a silver platter that also do not have national protection as they are used as cheap labour. There is, therefore, need to adopt a broad phenomenon approach that can see Zimbabwe benefitting from training and expertise of its own teachers in the same way Cuba benefitted from the expertise of its own doctors. That panacea can, therefore, not only come from a government to government agreement with Rwanda, but with willing countries regionally, continental and globally. Nor must this be restricted to graduates from Chitepo’s ideological school as some warped opinions are suggesting. It is also sad that while outside countries like Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique, South Sudan and Rwanda appreciate the expertise of teachers from Zimbabwe, we are busy denigrating teachers at home. What an oxymoron? Is it a case of a disciple failing to get honour in his/her home town, I wonder? As much as the brain circulation can go a long way in injecting capital in the country, we must also ensure a balance and continuous supply by investing in quality public education, and paying teachers in Zimbabwe well.
We have even suggested offering Zimbabwean examinations regionally where it has many takers from Zimbabweans located there and those who envy our education system, but our sound suggestions have not found takers within the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. We certainly cannot make a difference when we have education officials who are not dynamic, innovative and industrious. We even need exchange programmes with other Southern African countries so that we benefit from cross-pollination of educational ideas in Southern Africa, more so given the fact that the current borders are artificial creations of colonialists that must never create barriers to development but provide opportunities to brain circulation and development. At any rate, we have SADC protocols that can be utilised to make this a reality.Feedback
Hopefully, the incoming Minister of Education would be receptive to professional ideas and stop Matema’s long march along the commandist road of vandalism and peddled lies.
With more insight, greater planning and dexterity, Zimbabwe can grow to greater heights as an educational hub of Southern Africa.
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Dr Takavafira M. Zhou, PTUZ President
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