I was able to establish that the primary concern of
development to be education. Education is a fundamental property that
determines the future of a nation. It is the heart of economic understanding,
thus becoming an increasingly important area which if promoted correctly can
enable a country to truly flourish. Nelson Mandela promoted that, “No country
can really develop unless its citizens are educated.” Perhaps the major factor,
separating Zimbabwe’s development with the development of other countries, such
as China and Germany, is the level of education available. Recent evidence
suggests that, prior to the independence of many African countries, especially
Zimbabwe, many experienced inappropriate colonial education systems. Henceforth
questions arise as leaders in developing countries may have had poor training during
the periods of oppression, which have led them to make poor judgements today.
Unfortunately, these education systems were inefficient as they were aimed and
directed towards passing exams instead of equipping students with critical
thinking skills and dominance in technical subjects such as Science and Maths.
Between the years 2002 and 2010, Zimbabwe has prevailed in
acquiring a high literacy rate. In 2007 Zimbabwe’s literacy rate was
approximately 91.2% – (Zimbabwe Literacy Rate, 2008)1.
Highlighting a strong dominance in literacy, yet the government failed to
improve technical subject performance.
This suggests the whole nation could be very productive. Recent
developments in education system have heightened the need for investment in
this sector to maximise opportunities for the Zimbabwean workforce. There has
been little quantitative analysis of opportunities for Zimbabweans,
highlighting evidence for unemployment as the employment gap becomes
increasingly worrying. With unemployment at “95%”3(Forbes,2017).
In contrast, countries experiencing high levels of growth
such as South Korea and Singapore perform better in secondary and tertiary
Zimbabwe has failed to specialise workers to operate in tertiary sectors. These
tertiary sectors have been essential and highly efficient, for the likes of
Singapore. Studies reveal that the research, production and distribution
sectors have all contributed greatly to raise productivity and economic growth
in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. This has seen Zimbabwe’s
Fast-growing economies present a new approach to growth. As
Zimbabwe dominates agricultural industries operating efficiently in the primary
sector. There is a small percentage of the nation investing in STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. STEM is ultimately the
necessity for operating in the tertiary sector. In my opinion, if Zimbabwe took
this approach, they too could excel their economies, boosting productivity and
increasing economic growth. The changes experienced by Singapore over the past
decade remain unprecedented. Illuminating, the success of countries that have
invested heavily in education. Boasting booming growth, Singapore is a prime
example of the benefits of an injection into education.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore that
government investment into education and specialisation, could lead to a larger
and more productive workforce. An expansion in the labour supply of Zimbabwe would
increase the productive potential the economy. In addition to this education
and training reforms could have the potential to raise skills within Zimbabwe’s
workforce, thus improving employment prospects for thousands of the unemployed.
Nevertheless, exclusion of education has a severe impact on the development,
but the government remains able to influence this.
Investment is demanded for education to facilitate growth
and development. The necessity of investment in education has important
implications for growth. A well-educated
workforce acts as a magnet for foreign investment into an economy. Ultimately
with foreign investment, the creation of jobs arise. This means that an
improved education system may increase opportunities providing incentives to
work more efficiently. 4″Education
is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” (Mandela, 2003) Evidently, in perspective, Zimbabwe has
failed to utilise the weapon to change the world. This has been due to brain drain due to poor
economic conditions which resulted in the emigration of highly skilled labour.
Education is the foundation for success in an economy.
Through investment in education, living standards can improve as the
population’s prospects of obtaining employment increase. By promoting access
for all, Zimbabwe could utilise and advance their high literacy rate to
increase opportunities. A prime example of a country which was liberated by an
oppressor is Cuba. Zimbabwe can learn a lot from Cuba. The Cuban government’s
commitment to education is irrefutable.
Zimbabwe already has a satisfactory education system,
however the opportunities after remain scarce. I believe investment in
education, alongside employment opportunities would excel the economy. Raising
living standards as the population access a sense of confidence and security. However
this is all dependent upon the leaders decisions, thus leadership underpins the
development of the country.
4 Mandela, N.
(2003). Nelson Mandela.