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Rwanda offer: PTUZ urges govt to engage more countries on the exportation of teachers

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has urged the government to engage more countries across the globe on the exportation of teachers following Rwanda’s recent offer.

Rwandese President, Paul Kagame, told the Zimbabwe-Rwanda Trade and Investment Conference in Kigali last week that his country was ready to absorb as many Zimbabwean teachers the country could offer.

“I think Zimbabwe can offer us good teachers, so please work on that with a sense of urgency and whatever number you can find of quality teachers, we can absorb,” said Kagame.”

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Paul Mavima has said the government is already working on the bilateral agreement which will pave the way for the exportation of local teachers to the East African country.

“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,” PTUZ president, Takavafira Zhou.

“Such agreements could go a long way in enabling teachers to make money over a period of five to 20 years which they can ultimately invest in Zimbabwe in general and the education system in particular. Sadly, our suggestions have over a long period been snubbed.”

He said it was unfortunate that the whole of the Southern African countries are getting teachers from Zimbabwe on a silver platter.

“There is, therefore, a 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,” said Zhou.

“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.”

Zhou said Zimbabwe teachers have even suggested offering Zimbabwean examinations regionally, which he said have 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.”

He decried: “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 for brain circulation and development.”

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