Cost Recovery and its Implications for Student Teachers in Government Teacher Education Colleges in Zimbabwe
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Cost recovery measures imposed on Third World nations have had a perversive impact on the social welfare of the poor. Education is one of the areas in which this impact has been experienced. In Zimbabwe, the introduction of cost recovery or cutbacks in government expenditure resulted in socioeconomic hardships among the vulnerable groups in society. Shared responsibility between parents and government in financing education is one form of cost recovery introduced in tertiary education. Parents of students who are considered “able" now pay for half the education costs of their children. This policy has not yet been introduced in teacher education. The purpose of the study was to investigate the implications of cost recovery measures on student teachers in government teacher education colleges. The study concluded that cost recovery in teacher education impacts negatively on students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are most likely to use teaching profession as a means of social mobility and a way of regulating their social conditions. Data collected in this study indicate that most student teachers in government teacher education colleges are children of peasants and urban low-income earners, the disadvantaged groups who cannot afford to pay for their education. Thus, in light of this finding, cost recovery measures in teacher education would impact negatively on children of the poor who generally use the teaching profession as a means for social mobility and as a way of regulating their social conditions, especially poverty.