Women’s Access To Teacher Education In Zimbabwe: A Gender Profile
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Teaching traditionally is generally perceived to be a feminine profession, yet the situation on the ground in Zimbabwe does not indicate this perception. If anything, more men than women from the colonial period to date have been trained as teachers. This is a very sad state of affairs given the population female to male ratio of almost 2:1 that has always existed in Zimbabwe. This paper gives a brief background to the historical and socio-economic factors inhibiting the enrollment of girls into teacher training institutions in Zimbabwe. The paper traces the issues and policies affecting the education of girls in general and their entry into tertiary education and teacher education in. particular from as early as 1948 to 2003. Among others, the role played by Missionaries to battress traditional beliefs that mitigate against the education of girls, (Atkinson 1972), and the role played by the limited colonial Government spending on the education of Africans and how this adversely affected the education of girls (Tove 1992) is explained. Hie paper goes on to highlight successes, though limited, of the post- colonial government to improve the entry of girls into teacher education through affirmative action. Recommendations are made which try to link the affirmative action policy to the current youth training service in an effort to positively discriminate in favour of girls' entry into teacher education.