Are Zimbos Too Educated for Nothing?

educated-joblessOver Easter, I had a chance meeting with a 63-year old man in Harare CBD who was livid at the state of his domestic affairs.

“I am 63 years old, I’m supposed to resting but I am still looking after three of my children who are old enough to be fathers. I can’t chase them away; I just have to look after them,” he said shrugging his shoulders in apparent exasperation.

He said all his male children were educated and had certificates to prove it but no jobs unlike his female children who are now married to successful man.

“Just getting educated to get an office job just doesn’t cut it nowadays. You need to be hands on. We cannot all do office jobs. What people need nowadays is vocational education,” he said.

He added that what he observed during the past decade of Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis is that his female children managed to cope because they could use their hands to create things that could earn them an income.

Our conversation went on and on. My new found friend was quite unhappy about the state of affairs.

Zimbabwe, with an unemployment rate of above 90 per cent, is looking for ways to recover from its decade long political and economic fallout. One of the key elements of that recovery will be how the country utilises its human capacity.

While most Zimbabweans have a certificate of some sort, the country’s educational system has tended to focus more on the theoretical building a workforce that is able to read, write and follow instructions at the expense of being creative, hands-on and innovative. Too many of us have a lot of book learning devoid of any capability.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject which is so close to my heart: do you think our educational system has truly benefited you or its just a charade. A much ado about nothing.


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