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Education in Zimbabwe – Gone are the days . . .

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Something really needs to be done about our education sector.

When I was young, I used to admire teachers and enjoyed going to school. I remember when I was in grades 5-7, when my class teacher would invite me and my two friends to go to their houses at 12:45pm everyday to prepare lunch for him and the roommates that he shared his place with. No girls were allowed at the male teachers’ houses.

Preparing food took just a couple of minutes as there were plenty of tinned foods, and some packets of rice, spaghetti, etc. They had an admirable life, wore nice suits, and had plenty of food and money. They were equipped and ready to teach.

All this was because they were highly paid.

This was a primary school in the rural areas. Teachers were known to be among the highest paid. They were well dressed and were smart with the spirit of teaching; coming to a classroom holding two sticks of chalk; enjoying teaching and offloading data from their own heads.

Nowadays, it’s the opposite. Teachers are known as beggars. They are vendors inside their classrooms, teaching whilst selling their products like biscuits, sweets, chewing gums, pencils, pens, books, etc. They spend more time selling than teaching, in order to supplement their salaries.

Our teachers groomed us from zero grade to be what we are today, lawyers, presidents, doctors, professors you name it. Now we’re casting them aside like debris, and throwing them out of the picture. More money should be invested in education. Teachers are the drivers of this sector. To revive education, we should start with teachers, awarding them quarterly pay increases and monthly allowances, to motivate them and for our children to benefit from their enthusiasm for teaching.

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