Cautious Approach needed In Education Sector PDF Print E-mail
Indiginisation  is a policy to ensure that Zimbabweans own the majority of any business in the country; so care is needed when the policy is applied to education, which is generally not a business but a service.
Created :   07-07-2012
Adapted  from  The Herald:  05-07-2012
Most schools in Zimbabwe not owned by the State, either through central government or local government, are mission schools and trust schools. These are not businesses.
They never make profits. Every cent paid in fees, levies, gifts, grants or fundraising is spent on the school. Even the governors are paid nothing, not even their travel expenses. They give freely of their time and skills.

Some mission schools and most trust schools do use a provision in the Companies Act for non-profit-making companies to assume a legal identity, gain limited liability and ensure that they have proper financial accounts. The same provision is used by other non-profit making organisations like charities and even the National Blood Transfusion Service.

But in these cases no one owns any shares, the ownership is held in trust. In effect such schools own themselves with a totally unpaid “directorate”, their governors. They were set up to provide a service, not give anyone an income. Another large group of mission and private schools were established by religious communities.
While many have been converted to non-profit trusts some are still owned by the religious community but are forbidden to make profits by their religious owner.

Again they are there to provide a service, not make money.
All these non-profit schools are open to all. Preference is sometimes given in schools founded by a religious community to children from that community, but only for a minority of places. All want to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

Indeed the older schools in these groups fought the Rhodesian Front government successfully throughout the 1960s and 1970s to be open to all and refused to accept racial separation or racial quotas.
Demographics alone ensure that these days all have an indigenous majority enrolled.

With independence in 1980 the Ministry of Education, Sports, Art and Culture simply wanted them to remain open to all and welcomed their presence as they relieved pressure on the State system and allowed the ministry to concentrate its limited budget on its own schools.
Later President Mugabe himself sent his children to such schools.

We cannot imagine that the Indigenisation regulations apply to these non-profit schools, since they are not businesses, and feel that some people are just trying to make political points by frightening parents. But perhaps the regulations could make that clear.
Besides these non-profit schools there are for-profit schools.

Most are small nursery schools owned by a single teacher, usually in rented accommodation so are unlikely to fall within the ambit of the regulations. And since any qualified teacher can get a licence to open such a school, and start up costs are minimal, there seems no reason to be over-zealous.
In effect the parents are hiring the teacher and again in modern Zimbabwe it is impossible to run such a school viably unless a majority of parents are indigenous Zimbabweans.

This just leaves a small number of primary and secondary schools that are owned by one or two people and are expected to make a modest profit for their owners.
Some Zimbabwean tycoons have established first-class schools over the last 20 or so years but, probably because of the very high regard indigenous Zimbabweans

have for education, foreigners and non-indigenous Zimbabweans are very rare in this area.
So far as we are aware there are less than five schools or institutions that are registered for schooling, that could be affected.



The upshot appears to be an attempt to control the future, rather than the present, and ensure that if any foreign educational company wants to enter the Zimbabwean market they will not only have to satisfy the educational authorities, who do lay down some tight conditions, but also have local partners.
But they probably need these anyway to meet local educational requirements
 

 

 

 

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