GOVERNMENT has started working on bilateral arrangements with Rwanda to export local teachers to the east-central African nation.
This follows Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s call for the importation of Zimbabwean teachers.

Speaking during the Zimbabwe-Rwanda Investment and Trade Conference in Kigali last week, President Kagame said his country was willing to absorb as many Zimbabwean teachers as the country could offer.

He called on the two nations to work closely and provide teachers to his country.

Rwanda is one of Africa’s fastest rising economies and presents Zimbabwe with a lot of partnership opportunities.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima said Government was excited to co-operate with Rwanda on exportation of teachers.

“I’m really glad that the Rwandan President has called on us to provide teachers. We are going to work as quickly as possible to come up with that bilateral arrangement.

And this one would serve as a model that we can use in other areas. We have medical professionals who are going abroad, we have social welfare officials who are going abroad, we have engineers who have gone to many places,” said Prof Mavima.

“We need to have a formal programme that makes sure that our country is benefiting from human capital development. By the way, the development of human capital is a national responsibility. We put money into training teachers, nurses and engineers, and we should, as a country, also benefit when our people go abroad.”

He said countries such as China and Cuba, among other nations, benefit from exporting their skilled workers.

He said through a bilateral agreement, Zimbabwe could earn foreign currency through taxing professionals working in other countries.

“This would be the first of its kind so that next time when we export our human capital, we would already have a model which we can base on. It’s unlike in situations where people migrate individually and go to other countries.

This time it’s going to be a bilateral arrangement; we will know how many teachers we have sent there,” he said.

“We will also know what conditions of service they are going to work under, what kind of protection they have, what kind of taxation system, how do we have a system that part of their taxation in Rwanda benefits Zimbabwe in a formal manner.”

Prof Mavima said he was confident that Zimbabwean teachers will shine, as they have proved in other nations.

“This is why Rwanda is now saying give us your teachers because they are good. But Botswana is also running on Zimbabwean teachers, South Africa is running on Zimbabwean teachers, Namibia is running on Zimbabwean teachers. When you go to the United Kingdom, you find that when they do their annual competitions for teachers,

Zimbabwean teachers win there. I was surprised two to three years ago when I went to the UK, a Zimbabwean teacher had actually won £1 million for being the best teacher in that country,” said Prof Mavima.

He said while exporting skills was necessary, the country should also work towards retaining some skilled labour.

“We also need to take care of the motivation of teachers. We have to deal with the conditions of service of teachers as our economy grows. We need to make sure that our teachers are well remunerated so that we continue our human capital development,” he said. Chronicle