Being a teacher in Zimbabwe is now more riskier than ever as practicing the profession can have you jailed.Teachers alongside their counterpart civil servants as doctors and nurses are seen as regime change agents and a threat to national security.Ten thousand teachers left the country in 2020 and more contributed to the toll for 2021.
The Zimbabwe crisis also saw 125 firefighters leaving Harare city council in 2021 and one man who is also planning to leave said: “I want to leave the country. Every one of us wants to leave for other countries. We are all in waiting mode. Once an opportunity presents itself, I am out.”
Brain drain flood-tide is the order of the day as our skilled, dedicated people are leaving again, four years after the end of former president, the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the brain drain flood-tide has resumed. They cannot afford to stay.
Many in hospitals have mountains of bills to pay, and a huge crisis is unfolding for healthcare workers.
Over 2 200 healthcare workers left Zimbabwe in 2021, double the number that left in 2020 and three times the number that left in 2019.
They currently earn less than US$200 a month and can earn 10 times that much abroad and so they go because they have to survive, support their families, build their lives.
Fifteen teachers and a journalist were recently put in leg irons, arrested because they asked for a living wage.
Arrested for calling for a living wage may sound ludicrous yet that is the reality in the once beautiful country of Zimbabwe.
Currently earning the equivalent of just US$125 a month, the teachers were earning US$540 a month in 2018 but were reduced to paupers when the minister of finance converted the US dollar to Zimbabwe dollars.
“We are being pushed [to protest by the hunger in our stomachs,” said a teacher who now earns a quarter of what he used to.
The blatant reason over 10 000 migrated is they just cannot afford to stay.
In January 2019, Zimbabwe teachers started a strike demanding to be paid in US dollars.A manhunt was put for a biology teacher who was in the forefront of the protests as Zimbabwe’s shame reared its ugly head.
Zimbabwe teachers earning $1 a day refused to return to work in September 2020.