South-Africa Throws Zimbabwean Teachers A Lifeline


Governments of Zimbabwe and South Africa have come up with a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) to protect Zimbabwean teachers who are working in the neighbouring country. Presently, South Africa does not recruit teachers from Zimbabwe, directly exposing them to abuse. While South Africa’s Basic Education minister Angelina Motshekga on Wednesday said the Jacob Zuma administration had resolved to stop recruiting teachers from neighbouring countries, yesterday, her Zimbabwean counterpart Lazarus Dokora said a MoU would be signed soon.

Among other things, Dokora said the MoU would see a database of teachers employed in South Africa being created. “We need to be guided by a framework of collaboration and that includes how the human resource of migration is regulated between our two countries,” Dokora said. “Within the framework of a MoU, an important paragraph that we include to make sure that where Zimbabwean teachers proceed to work in South Africa, we know where they are, we know how they are being deployed and also safeguard their interests.” On Wednesday, Motshekga showered praises on Zimbabwe’s trained teachers.

“We have also discussed around the Zimbabwean teachers who are in our country, we find them well trained, very hard working, and contributing a lot to our education system. Yes, indeed we were instructed by Cabinet not to recruit from our neighbours, because, eh, the president used to say it’s like stripping our neighbours of their assets, so we were advised not to recruit,” Motshekga said. “But Zimbabweans and South Africans are one people, we can say what we like as politicians, but they have their own lives, they move in and out of the borders, as one people.

She added ” . . . we also agreed that we need to document properly, even if as South Africa we don’t utilise them (teachers) to the full, we are wasting resources of both countries. “If Zimbabwean teachers find themselves in South Africa, which happens in some instances, you sometimes find them doing jobs which can’t help us both, yet we could have utilised them fully if we had recognised them and accredited them properly.” Early this year, there were reports that over 300 Zimbabwean teachers lost their jobs in South Africa. At the same time, Zimbabwe is also struggling to absorb all teachers churned from teacher training colleges as the broke government is unable to employ. Motshekga and her delegation have been in the country sharing notes and experiences with Dokora on how the two countries can improve their education systems and curriculums.

“As a country, ever since the independence of Zimbabwe, we have always looked up to Zimbabwe in terms of basic education, we have always found you to be pathfinders,” Motshekga said.

Source : ZIMeye