Paidamoyo Chipunza, Harare Bureau
Zimbabwean children staying with their parents in South Africa could soon be able to write Zimsec examinations from that country, once the two countries conclude a Memorandum of Understanding that is being crafted.
There has not been an arrangement allowing Zimbabweans based in South Africa to write local examinations while staying in that country.
However, updating journalists on progress made so far in relation to the MOU, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora, said they have now agreed on the actual text of how his ministry and that of Basic Education in South Africa would collaborate.
“We have now agreed on the actual text and this text is what will now be transmitted to Ministries of Foreign Affairs in both countries for purposes of now developing an MOU framework and then proceed to the Attorney Generals of the two countries so that we get a binding document between the two Ministries,” said Dr Dokora.
He said exploring the possibility of Zimbabwean students living in South Africa writing Zimsec examinations from that country, was one of the areas agreed by both countries.
“Zimsec would also pursue further discussions with the quality assurance authority in South Africa with a view to facilitate the writing of Zimsec examinations by Zimbabweans in South Africa,” said Dr Dokora.
“Instead of Zimbabweans sending their children back here to write examinations, we are asking for Zimsec authority to be presenting those examinations to South Africa.”
He said the two countries were also looking forward to professionalising the teaching profession through regulations that would see licensure of teachers, migration of scarce skills to South Africa and issues of supply and demand of teachers being addressed.
Currently, there is no record of how many Zimbabwean teachers were living and working in South Africa, yet hundreds have migrated to that country seeking greener pastures.
Dr Dokora said some of these developments were aimed at addressing challenges faced by these teachers working in South Africa whose rights were not adequately protected by current regulations.
He said the MOU would also see Zimbabwe and South Africa collaborating on strengthening of curriculum innovation and development, infrastructure development, annual sports science arts festivals and education conference and expos.
The proposed MOU followed an official visit by South Africa’s Basic Education Minister Angelina Motshekga to Harare last month where these areas of collaboration were identified and deliberated on.
Minister Motshekga also addressed South African journalists at the same time with his Zimbabwean counterpart on these developments and progress made to date.
Both ministers expected the MoU to be signed before the end of the year.
Zimbabwe and South Africa have strong relations and the education sector was one of the areas that had remained operating informally, resulting in some Zimbabwean educators being taken advantage of by some private schools across the Limpopo.
It is envisaged that the proposed arrangements would bring sanity in the two countries’ education sectors.