At least 200 Zimbabwean educators will this month leave for Rwandan jobs after successfully completing the pre-departure training yesterday under a worker-exchange agreement struck between the two countries last year.
The two nations last year agreed to facilitate the seamless recruitment of 477 Zimbabwean teachers.
After the flighting of the job adverts, more than 500 teachers tendered their curricula vitae and after background checks, 401 teachers were shortlisted for the interviews that took place last month, with 224 making the final cut.
In an interview, Permanent Secretary for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Mr Simon Masanga said successful candidates who undertook the pre-departure training held at the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management in Chegutu will leave on October 17.
“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 said, ensures the candidates have the right information for integration and protection during their service in Rwanda.
He said when the Ministry contacted the potential candidates, some of them could not attend the physical pre-departure training, with some having gone abroad for vacations, but promised to come back.
“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,” said Mr Masanga.
“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.”
Before the training, the educators went through interviews in two phases; online written examinations and oral interviews which ended on August 26 at five centres selected for the process across the country.
Permanent Secretary in the Rwandan Ministry of Education Mr Charles Karakye, who led a delegation to supervise the interviews and the pre-departure training, said the teachers had been offered “attractive” packages.
“What I have to say is that the packages are attractive,” he said. “I can’t disclose the amount that we are giving, but this is a water-tight project between two governments.”
Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima said the expatriate teachers will be treated fairly in Rwanda.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is going to insist on the implementation of minimum conditions of service at the bi-national level,” he said. “So, this is a better arrangement than the one where a teacher goes out on their own to seek employment.”
Labour migration, Prof Mavima said, was an important element of the Second Republic’s development thrust.
“We are ensuring that they will get conditions that will be worthwhile for them and worthwhile for the country,” he said.
“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.”
These educators will be employed in Rwanda under four categories: basic education, basic technical and vocational education and training, polytechnic, and universities.
Candidates who expressed interest in working at polytechnics and health science colleges were exempted from the written interviews and only participated in the online oral interviews as they were considered highly qualified.