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Harare Proposes To Bond Young Teachers To Stem Their Emigration

Faced with continued emigration by teachers in large numbers to neighboring countries, the Zimbabwean government is proposing to place newly qualified teachers under bond, obliging them to stay in service for a fixed period, to stem the outflow.

Harare is also urging governments of neighboring states to ask permission before recruiting Zimbabwean teachers, who have flooding into South Africa, Botswana, and other countries where shortages of qualified staff make them highly valued.

Education Minister Aeneas Chigwedere told parliament this week that Zimbabwe must offer teachers greater financial incentives and improve the conditions in which they work to encourage them to remain in service inside the country.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe has expressed opposition to bonding. PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou said his members will not accept bonding as it will not bring an improvement in wages and working conditions.

A student teacher from Masvingo, capital of southeast Masvingo Province, giving his name as Chauke, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that putting new teachers under bond will just discourage interest in the profession.

Meanwhile, schoolteachers in Murehwa, Mashonaland East, said villagers and local war veterans are making life difficult for them, as Safari Njema reported.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...