Zimbabwe’s education system

Posted: 21st July 2011 by admin in Remittance methods

Yesterday I pointed out that the social benefits of free education in developing countries are lost when skilled workers emigrate; but then again in the case of Zimbabwe, we all know that the flight of skilled workers from the country has in so many ways sustained the economy at its very worst.

Although most of the people that leave the country for the Diaspora end up doing the most menial jobs in the first world, they have gone a long way in ensuring their families’ survival in the most trying times by sending money to Zimbabwe to sustain them.

The Zimbabwean government did make quite a substantial investment in the education system after independence to ensure the black majority- who lacked the opportunities and facilities for quality secondary schooling were allowed access.

The apartheid legacy did however leave its mark on Zimbabwe’s education system with formerly-white, private “Group A” schools far superior in terms of resources and trained teachers when compared to their mission and government-sponsored counterparts; a situation that was further exacerbated by the economic crisis that hit the country at the turn of the century.

Zimbabwe’s education system, once the best in Africa, faced immense challenges. Public financing of the sector to dwindle in real terms, school fees  soared  beyond the reach of many, depletion of educators and low morale owing to salaries for the remaining teachers, unravelled past successes in the sector.

This all culminated in a crisis that saw teachers taking two month strikes, school terms being disrupted constantly, and the tertiary education sector literally coming to a standstill for the first half of 2009.

Despite the crisis in, the education sector remains the engine to drive Zimbabwe into the future.  It is the tool, the one thing that no one can take away from Zimbabweans, which will steer change and progress in the country.