COMMENT: Pursue similar teaching arrangements with other countries

The Chronicle

ZIMBABWE-RWANDA ties will rise to a new level on October 17 when the first batch of 224 teachers leave Harare on a chartered flight to start work in the Great Lakes nation.

Our country is well known globally for its high quality education. Its literacy rate is among the top two on the continent and professionals trained here are much sought-after in the UK, Europe, Asia, America and Australia. In southern Africa, Zimbabwe is a leader with its citizens occupying top positions in the public and private sectors.  

Rwanda President Paul Kagame, knowing too well the reputation that Zimbabwean professionals hold at the global stage, asked, sometime last year, President Mnangagwa for assistance to transform his country’s education sector. He asked for about 500 good quality teachers and lecturers. After rigorous interviews since August, the first group of 224 educators will depart for Kigali in the next two weeks.

We cited Permanent Secretary for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Simon Masanga yesterday saying the successful candidates underwent a pre-departure training held at the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management in Chegutu.

“The recruitment process is still ongoing,” he said.

“So far we have completed the recruitment of at least 200 teachers and these, if all goes according to plan, will leave on October 17 in a chartered plane. The pre-departure training by a team of experts from Zimbabwe and the Embassy of Rwanda was for adequate orientation to ensure requisite information is imparted to the Zimbabwean nationals before their deployment.”

The training, Mr Masanga added, ensures the candidates have the right information for integration and protection during their service in Rwanda.

“We have some who couldn’t attend the physical training, but there is an initiative that will see them undertake the training virtually and will be given their contract offers before signing,” he said.

“We have given the successful candidates two weeks so that they have ample time to make final preparations before they leave, including bidding farewell to their families and workmates.”

President Paul Kagame

We are glad that President Kagame recognises the positive contribution that Zimbabwean educators can make in the advancement of his government’s goals to improve its delivery of education. We are sure that the high regard he has for our professionals is the same opinion that other governments and employers hold for Zimbabwe.  

Apart from their reputation for superior training and professionalism, Zimbabweans are known for being a peaceful people who uphold high moral standards. Generally, we do not fight anyone, we work hard, we are disciplined and above all, we are God-fearing.  

The 224 and the next batch of educators to be deployed in Rwanda must continue conducting themselves in the Zimbabwe way.  They must be our ambassadors, assisting Professor Charity Manyeruke, our top diplomat in Kigali, to deliver on their mandate and assist her raising the national flag aloft there. We don’t expect to hear stories of untoward behaviour from our soon-to-be-deployed envoys — no violence, no drunkenness and no bunking work; just them doing what they know best. We are pointing this out just in case, but we are confident that the interviews that our Government and representatives from Rwanda did over the past two or so months were exhaustive, going well beyond the recruits’ performance in the written and oral tests to knowing the individuals one by one in greater depth.  

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda, Charity Manyeruke

Having exhorted our educators to be worthy ambassadors of our country in Kigali, we are encouraged that Zimbabwe and Rwanda worked on this partnership to promote regular recruitment of professionals instead of the professionals finding their own way abroad. This being a government-to-government arrangement, the educators will be well paid there as Permanent Secretary in the Rwandan Ministry of Education Mr Charles Karakye noted.

“What I have to say is that the packages are attractive,” he said.

Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima told us:

“We are ensuring that they will get conditions that will be worthwhile for them and worthwhile for the country. So, there is no possibility of manipulation, especially where we have structured something like this. Manipulation only comes where there is no Government involvement when someone just leaves and goes to a destination without involving the Government.”

Minister Professor Paul Mavima

We urge the Government to pursue similar arrangements with other countries. It has been widely reported that Angola and Qatar are some of the countries on the queue to recruit local teachers. There must be many more countries that are of the same opinion.  That is great. It asserts the lofty position that the local education sector holds at the global stage.  

Hopefully, the  search for local skills by other nations will be much broader than only educators. We have nurses, doctors, engineers, accountants, journalists, chemists, and so on who are keen to work and can distinguish themselves abroad.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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