In 1980, Zimbabwe inherited a sound health and education system from Ian Smith’s government. In the formative years of its independence, Robert Mugabe managed to enhance Zimbabwe’s education system through building new schools, and promoting education for all.
Fast forward to year 2008, Zimbabwe’s national infrastructure deteriorated disproportionately as foreign direct investments into the country continued to dwindle since year 2000, which coincided with the beginning of Zimbabwe’s land reform exercise.
Fast forward again to year 2018, Zimbabwe found itself in the same economic trap that choked it’s businesses in 2007-2008 when it registered world record breaking inflation rates.
Since then, the health system has continued to decimate to the extent that being poor and falling sick in Zimbabwe today is synonymous to a death trap as medical costs are now beyond reach for many. Health practitioners in government run health institutions continue protesting against poor working conditions and poor remuneration through giving partial commitment to their jobs.
The education system has also joined the fray, with students in government institutions facing a mammoth task to learn as teachers embark on a national strike, again against poor working conditions and poor remuneration. These students constitute the bulk of Zimbabwe’s primary and secondary school students, and if education is the key to success, then if this knowledge loss is not urgently abated, Zimbabwe’s future is doomed.
Zimbabweans may argue and brandish their education and health practitioners as unpatriotic, but at the end of the day, if the education and health workers are not motivated, then the student and the patient’s lives are at risk.
A country’s health is a country’s wealth. Again, knowledge is power. Zimbabwe must take an inclusive approach in addressing these new twin evils that stand in the way of its economic objectives – Vision 2030.