Government Tells Jobless Teachers To Open Their Own Schools


In a country with a deficit of 3,000 schools against the backdrop of a student population that reaches six million, government has come up with what it considers an ingenious solution for the multitudes of unemployed teachers in Zimbabwe. 

Zimbabwe teachers education system
Image - ZimFact

And that solution entails jobless teachers simply starting their own schools as the government cannot take all of them in the country's education system. 

These sentiments were expressed by Raymond Machingura, the deputy minister for the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony at Belvedere Teachers College in the capital last week.

Speaking to a local radio station, Machingura made his solution known to all: 

“Unemployed teachers should start their own companies which produce stationery and other consumables used in schools or even start their own schools.

“If you look at it, private schools are charging exorbitant fees. So if we have our own teachers with their own private schools, they will not be charging high fees but will be providing quality education.”

But in this government appears to be contradicting itself. Last year, it launched a crackdown on schools and colleges that were operating illegally—320 out of 448 schools identified as illegal were closed down by authorities in Harare. 

The fact that government—which has the prerogative to provide basic public services such as access to education—is telling teachers to resort to the privatization of education is a sign that it has dismally failed to provide a properly functional education system, according to some commentators. 

Zimbabwe Teachers Association secretary-general Goodwill Taderera remarked, “If teachers become entrepreneurs, then the education system will be commercialised. It’s privatising the education system which is exclusive to low-income earners. Accessibility to education will be compromised. Government undertook to provide quality education and has to stick to that mandate and not abdicate its responsibility to job-seeking teachers.“

Clearly, the solution to the unemployment of teachers cannot be found in the commercialization of education, Taderera said. 

Post a Comment