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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

S. Afr. j. educ. vol.37 n.3 Pretoria Aug. 2017 

Zimbabwean teachers in South Africa: A transient greener pasture



Rian de VilliersI; Zenzele WedaII

IDepartment of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.
IIDepartment of Educational Foundations, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa




Zimbabwean teachers constitute the largest group of migrant teachers in South Africa (Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET), 2013). The main reason South Africa welcomes migrant teachers is to ease the country's own teacher shortage. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore Zimbabwean teachers' motives for migration to South Africa and their future career plans. Fifteen migrant Zimbabwean teachers in public high or combined schools (private schools) took part in semi-structured, face-to-face interviews. Several sampling techniques (purposive, quota, convenient and snowball sampling) were used to select the teachers in Gauteng Province. The data was analysed qualitatively using open coding. The findings revealed that the economic and political instability in Zimbabwe (a push factor) played a much stronger role in migration decisions of the migrant teachers than did pull factors such as the close proximity of South Africa, and the existence of a migration network in South Africa. The findings of the study also revealed that some of the migrant Zimbabwean teachers migrated to reunite with their families, as they preferred not to split their immediate families between two countries. Migration networks were effective in assisting the migrants to find employment. The future plans of the majority of the teachers were ambitious. They involved improving their academic qualifications, getting employment in the tertiary education sector, and migrating to other, better paying countries. Migrant teachers are playing a crucial role while balance is being sought between demand and supply of teachers in South Africa. They ought to be given fair contracts that would encourage those who want to stay on, to do so.

Keywords: migrants; migration; South Africa; Zimbabwean teachers




The increase in worldwide migration has caused worker migration to augment, where the International Labour Organisation (ILO, 2004) has established that about half of the world's migrants are, in fact, migrant workers. The number of migrants worldwide increased from 2.9% (154 million) in 1990 to 3.2% (232 million) of the total worldwide population in 2013 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affair, 2013).

In Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa is a popular choice for migrant workers from the region. However, this is not a new phenomenon, as South Africa has attracted migrant workers since the late 19th century when it recruited unskilled mine and farm workers from neighbouring countries (Campbell, 2010). Later, and especially in its post-apartheid era (post 1994), South Africa begun to attract a diversity of workers, including highly skilled workers from a wide range of African and Eastern European countries (Adepoju, 2010). Hence Crush and Tevera's (2010) comment that post-apartheid South Africa is highly attractive to all classes of migrant workers and migrants consider South Africa as a country of 'greener pastures' in a sub-region blighted by wars, political and economic instability, and government corruption. This indicates that South Africa has a more stable political and economic climate when compared to other countries in this sub-region. Trimikliniotis, Gordon and Zondo (2008) have argued that migrant workers are found in large numbers in certain South African labour sectors because they are easier to exploit than native workers, who have various political parties and unions guarding against exploitation. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA, 2012) reports a figure of about 1.7 million non-nationals living in South Africa, comprising 3.3% of the country's population.

Zimbabwean Teachers' Migration to South Africa

Zimbabwe has experienced socio-economic and political turmoil since the year 2000, which has led to an exodus of Zimbabwean citizens (Rutherford & Addison, 2007; Worby, 2010). Zimbabweans have been leaving, particularly for South Africa, due to the difficult conditions in their home country (Worby, 2010). Raftopolous (2009) has indicated that in 2006, 85% of the Zimbabwean population was living below the poverty datum line, which indicated difficult living conditions in the country. Although the literature points to the fact that Zimbabweans are by far the largest migrant group in South Africa (Campbell, 2010; Crush & Tawodzera, 2013), the actual number of Zimbabweans in South Africa is a subject open to debate. Unfortunately, in this debate, due to the absence of an accurate database of migrants, facts are usually shrouded in emotion and political expedience.

Zimbabwean teachers constitute the largest group of migrant teachers in South Africa (DHET, 2013). According to the DHET, Zimbabwe supplied 61% of the migrant teachers in 2010. However, South Africa does not directly recruit teachers from Zimbabwe (Manik, 2013). Zimbabwean teachers migrated to other countries to escape the generally poor conditions prevailing in Zimbabwe during the 2000s, which included economic and political uncertainty, hyperinflation, the breakdown of service provision, and scarcity of cash and commodities (Weda, 2012). The Progressive Teacher's Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ, 2008) at the time stated that around 35,000 teachers had left Zimbabwe by 2009, mainly designated for Botswana, South Africa and the United Kingdom. De Villiers (2007) argued that South Africa was already home to 10,000 Zimbabwean teachers by 2004, where approximately 4,000 of these were qualified science and mathematics teachers. It is generally accepted that not all Zimbabwean teachers are employed in the education sector. Crush, Chikanda and Tawodzera (2012) for example, estimate that up to 47% of the migrant Zimbabwean teachers in South Africa end up working in other sectors.

Problem Statement

South Africa employs a considerable number of migrant teachers to help alleviate its teacher shortages. The choice of Zimbabwean teachers as participants in this study was motivated by the fact that they constitute the largest percentage of migrant teachers in South Africa's education system at present. Migrant teachers play a crucial role in balancing the demand and supply of teachers within the country. A lack of clarity on their migration motives and future plans could lead to their dissatisfaction and ineffectiveness, and to misdirected future plans by the country's education system. Although the Zimbabwean teachers have become an integral part of the South African education system, very little research directed at their motives for migration and their future career plans has been undertaken. This research seeks to establish the migration motives and future career plans of migrant Zimbabwean teachers in South Africa. The following research questions guided the study:

a. Why did Zimbabwean teachers migrate to South Africa?

b. What are the migrant teachers' future career plans?

Theoretical Framework

This study uses a combination of the Structuralist Model, and Transnationalism, as its theoretical bases. The Structuralist Model stresses the unequal distribution of economic and political power in the world and its effects on the cross-border movement of people (Castles & Miller, 2003). It also addresses the significance of external forces as the main drivers of international migration. The structural forces that drive migration could be economics, political or social. These are forces pushing people out of one country and pulling them towards another (Sinyolo, 2012; Stalker, 2008).

According to Transnationalism, migrants maintain ties with their homeland and may move back and forth between national borders and across different cultures and social systems. The migrants are therefore neither uprooted from their source country, nor are they moored in any particular state (Brettell, 2008). Migration is viewed as a process in which migrants build, reinforce, and maintain multiple linkages with their country of origin, the transit and destination. A transnational community is a system of institutions, networks, and relations that connect people (migrants and non-migrants) in both the source and host countries. These connections may include shared ideas, long lasting and stable ties based on solidarity, as well as beliefs and symbols (Heisler, 2008).



A qualitative research approach within an interpretive paradigm was used to explore the research questions. According to Merriam (2009), the purpose of research from an interpretive perspective is to describe, understand, and interpret the phenomenon under investigation. A pilot study was first conducted, which involved two Zimbabwean teachers that were purposively selected in the Gauteng Province of South Africa.

The Sample and Participants

The sample of this study comprises 15 migrant Zimbabwean teachers teaching in Gauteng schools. Initially, purposive sampling combined with quota sampling were used to select the teachers in Gauteng Province. The selection criteria were that the teachers should be foreign teachers trained in Zimbabwe; they should have at least one year's teaching experience in South African schools; should have taught at a public secondary (high) school, or combined (private) school (anywhere in Grades 8 to 12). Quota sampling principles were adopted in order to include a more or less equal number of men and women so as to achieve heterogeneity. The teachers' year of arrival in South Africa was not used as a criterion in the selection of the sample. The sampling was also convenient, as the teachers were chosen from schools in Gauteng that were easily accessible and relatively nearby the researchers' place of work. Snowball sampling (chain referral sampling) was also followed, where successive participants (hard to reach individuals) were named by a preceding individual (Nieuwenhuis, 2007).

The Research Instrument, Data Collection and Analysis

The cross-sectional study was conducted in 2015. The teachers took part in in-depth, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews that helped to gain insight into their motives for migrating to South Africa, the ways and challenges of finding employment, and what their future academic career plans entailed. Semi-structured interviews have the advantage of allowing the researcher to obtain detailed responses from the participants through probing (Creswell, 2008). The interview schedule consisted of open-ended and closed-ended questions. The questions were developed to solicit the teachers' demographic information (gender, age, marital status, qualifications, and years of teaching experience in South Africa, Zimbabwe and other countries, positions within the schools, subjects that they were teaching); the teachers' motives for migration to South Africa; and their future career plans. Only one interview per participant was held and the length of the interviews ranged from 32 to 60 minutes. The research met the ethical guidelines including confidentiality, voluntary participation, informed consent, anonymity, trust and safety in participation. The interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed qualitatively through open coding. Concepts were grouped together into categories and themes, and inductive codes emerged from the data (Nieuwenhuis, 2007).

Validity and Reliability

The research instrument was validated by two experts in the field and piloted before it was used in the main study. Leading questions were avoided. Based on the feedback from the pilot study, the interview questions were revised. Ambiguities and redundancies were removed to improve clarity in the formulation of the questions in the interview schedule. To ensure trustworthiness, the interviews were recorded with an audio-recorder in order to obtain accurate and relatively complete records (Rule & John, 2011). The transcriptions were crosschecked by the participants. Furthermore, the participants were not known to the researchers.


Results and Discussion

Profile of the Migrant Zimbabwean Teachers

The Zimbabwean teachers who participated in this study arrived in South Africa between 2005 and 2010. Seven teachers arrived when the economic crisis in Zimbabwe had reached a peak during 2007 and 2008 (Hungwe, 2013).

Fifteen teachers, including seven males and eight females (n = 15), were interviewed in this study. Thirteen of the participants were married, and another one was divorced, and one was widowed. Fourteen teachers indicated that they were parents. Most of the teachers (12) who migrated to South Africa did so as part of their first emigration experience. The majority of the participants were well qualified. A professional profile of the teachers indicated that ten had Bachelor's degrees, two had Master's degrees and three had Doctoral degrees as their highest academic qualification. Fourteen teachers also held a Diploma in Education.

Ten teachers were teaching in public secondary schools, and five in combined (private) schools at the time of this study. Of the 15 teachers, the majority (10) were temporarily employed. These figures illustrate the unstable and transitory nature of employment of migrant teachers in South Africa. This mirrors an earlier observation by the DHET (2013) report, which indicates that only 9% of the migrant teachers were employed in a permanent capacity. Green (2014) speculates that this scenario is due to the consequences of the temporary residence status or temporary work permits that migrant teachers may hold. The majority of the participants were experienced teachers. The number of years taught in South African schools ranged from four to ten years, and on average, each had taught in three different schools. At the time of the interviews, most of the teachers (11) had more years of teaching experience in Zimbabwe than in South Africa (see Table 1). The findings of the current study support the view by Crush and Tawodzera (2013) that the post-2000 wave of migration from Zimbabwe includes many experienced and qualified teachers.

A majority of the teachers (14) were teaching mathematics and science-related subjects (Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Natural Sciences). These teachers indicated that they could teach more than one subject. Most of the teachers (13) indicated they were teaching the subjects for which they were trained. According to the DHET (2013) report, the subjects most frequently taught by specialisations of employed migrant teachers in public schools included English, Mathematics, Afrikaans, Physical Science, Life Science and Geography.

Motives for Migration to South Africa as a Destination Country

We discuss in this section the various categories of the teachers' motives for migration.

Economic and political instability in Zimbabwe

The current study's findings mirror The South African Council for Educators (SACE, 2011) report, which states that Zimbabwean teachers are migrating to South Africa to escape from Zimbabwe's political and economic woes, but are drawn to South Africa by its economic prosperity, political stability, and promise of better working conditions and income. Eight teachers indicated that the economic and political instability in Zimbabwe were the main motives (push factor) for leaving their home country. Overall, these teachers reported that they struggled to survive in Zimbabwe, hence their move to South Africa. Some of the teachers' narratives are as follows:

Collins: The economy in Zimbabwe was on its knees. I could not actually feed my family. I could not send my children to good schools.

Gladys: The economy was volatile at that moment. It was like moving to a greener pasture, moving to South Africa.

Simba: The main reason why I came to South Africa is [sic] because of the political and economic situation in our country. Everything was down [sic] in our country.

The Structuralist Model postulates that structural forces drive migration including social, economic and political factors. Migrant teachers in the current study moved to a stronger economy and higher living standards. It is plausible therefore to postulate that the migrant teachers in this study were pushed mainly by the economic crisis and political repression, and pulled to South Africa by perceived prospects of earning enough to meet their needs.

A general assumption exists that migrant Zimbabwean teachers are in South Africa to escape the harsh socio-economic conditions prevailing in their country, which have been triggered by what is now known as the Zimbabwean Crisis (Crush & Tevera, 2010; Ranga, 2015). Ranga (2015) argues the underlying cause of the Zimbabwean Crisis to have been political even though it has economic, political, and social ramifications. Some research clarifies the migration motives of Zimbabweans in South Africa. Makina (2010) finds that the majority of Zimbabweans who arrived in Johannesburg before 2001 cited economic reasons as their motive for migration; those arriving between 2002 and 2005 cited political persecution, and from 2005 onwards, economic reasons were once again dominant. Weda (2012) reports that Zimbabwean teachers were motivated to migrate by their need to maintain working conditions, standards of living, and social prestige that teachers as professionals expect as normative. Therefore, their motive for migration to South Africa was to regain and/or to maintain a standard of living and a level of social prestige that they deemed they deserved but could not accomplish without migrating.

Existence of migration network

Having a spouse, a relative or a friend already living in South Africa was identified as a factor that influenced the decisions of at least six of the participants to migrate to South Africa. Maria and Gladys joined their husbands, while Gamuchirai and Sithembile initially lived with their sisters when they arrived in South Africa. Themba stayed with his brother in the first few months when he was still looking for a job and Mlamuleli mentioned that he came to South Africa because his "fathers and forefathers from Matabeleland had worked in Gauteng, South Africa" previously, and had established a network on which he could depend. Two of the participants mentioned that they had friends in South Africa and this influenced their choice.

The participants' migration networks proved vital when it came to finding employment. The participants reported that they used the following ways to secure employment: a network of family and friends who already lived in South Africa; left their curriculum vitae (CVs) at schools; responded to newspaper advertisements; used recruitment agencies; responded to the Gauteng Department of Education Gazettes; used personal communication with schools; applied through the South African consulate in Zimbabwe, and were recruited by a school.

The close proximity of South Africa

The World Bank (2011) states that South-South migration is higher than South-North migration. It is not surprising, therefore, that six of the participants in this study indicated that they had chosen South Africa as a destination country because it is near their homeland Zimbabwe. It was more convenient for them, because they still had close relatives in Zimbabwe. Themba, for example, reported that he knew from the start that he would want to go home frequently after embarking on migration. Almost 80% of South-South migration flows between neighbouring countries (Ratha, Mohapatra & Silwal, 2010), as migrants tend to stay within the region, rather than travel across regional boundaries.

However, South Africa was not the first choice as a destination country for all of the participants, where four other teachers indicated South Africa as their second choice. Mandlenkosi first went to Botswana, but could not secure employment. Tongai tried to get into the United Kingdom (UK), but failed as he could not obtain the necessary visa. Chipo considered a number of different countries, such as Botswana and the UK. She mentioned that she ended up in South Africa because it was becoming difficult to get into the UK at the time, and in Botswana they were not renewing work permits for migrant teachers. Collins initially wanted to leave Zimbabwe for Eritrea, but because of the distance, he settled for South Africa. Another option that Collins considered was migrating to Botswana, but he explained that it was more difficult to get work permits there than in South Africa. In Botswana, which is also a neighbour of Zimbabwe, obtaining a work contract was perceived as more difficult than in South Africa. Besides being close home, it was easier for the participants to obtain work permits in South Africa than in other countries.

Social-cultural proximity is a factor in the migration of Zimbabwean teachers to South Africa. For some three participants (Sithembile, Chipo and Themba) the proximity of South Africa was more than just geographical, it was also cultural. Chipo, who was born in South Africa, explained that he is "fluent in isiZulu and in English, the language of instruction. My mother language is isiNdebele from Zimbabwe which is a dialect of isiZulu." According to Lindgren (2002) about two million Ndebele people lived in the South and Southwestern parts of Zimbabwe. They are ethnic Zulus, who migrated from the province of KwaZulu-Natal to seek greater political freedom in the early 1800s. They still speak a dialect of isiZulu. For Themba South Africa was his "second home", since he could trace his ancestral origin to KwaZulu-Natal. Themba reported that for him, it was a natural choice to come to South Africa.

Decision to bring family along

The need to join the migrant teacher in South Africa was very important to the Zimbabwean families. The spouses or children of 10 teachers followed the migrant between 2005 and 2010. As a result, family reunions were a motive for the migration of some of the participants. Maintaining the integrity of the nuclear family was apparently a crucial issue in the migration decision-making. Overall, it was very difficult for the teachers to leave some of their family, and especially their children, behind in Zimbabwe. The study revealed that family ties were very strong amongst Zimbabweans, not only in South Africa, but also in Zimbabwe. Seven teachers indicated that their separation from family due to their emigration to South Africa had a negative impact on their family. The anecdote given by Anacleta illustrates the point. Anacleta moved to South Africa to join her husband, who was already living there, and it was traumatic for her to leave her only child behind in Zimbabwe. She explained:

I remember one incident when my child was hurt and it really touched me. He was with my mother. So I decided it is better I know what's happening when I am living with my child. [all sic]

In addition to Anacleta, three other teachers also followed their spouses who already lived and worked in South Africa. Nomsa felt that it was not safe to leave her children behind. Some of the participant teachers moved their children to South Africa to access tertiary education.

Four teachers agreed that it was more cost-effective having the whole immediate family in South Africa. Chipo brought her immediate family to South Africa when she realised that she was going to be in the country for a long time. She further explained that logistically and financially it was not good for her family to be separated in two countries. It was important to her to see her two boys growing up. Four teachers stated that it did not make sense to keep their family in Zimbabwe, due to the economic downturn. Tongai stated clearly that he moved his children because, "it was the peak of our problems in Zimbabwe in 2007 and by that time, the inflation had gone up to about 200 percent." Collins' children were initially at a boarding school in Zimbabwe, and it proved to be more expensive to keep them in Zimbabwe. Due to both the economic situation and the education system, which were both in a dismal state, he finally decided to relocate his children as well.

Future Career Plans

The teachers were asked to talk about their future career plans for 2016 and beyond. Their responses were grouped into six categories: further studies; migration to other countries; teaching at tertiary level; working for private companies or non-educational departments; continuing to teach at secondary schools; and being unsure about future career plans.

The majority of the teachers (12) were busy with further studies, or were interested in further studies. Mandlenkosi was working towards his second doctorate degree, and believed that education was the only legitimate way to succeed. Maria decided to improve her qualifications because "it is not easy to be promoted as a foreigner." The financing of studies was a problem for many of the participants. For example, Mlamuleli had obtained admission to pursue a doctorate, but struggled financially, and therefore did not pursue it further. Chipo would have loved to study further, but she was not financially stable, because she was raising two boys on her own. Simba had always wanted to enrol for a Master's degree, but due to financial constraints, he kept postponing it. He stated that it was difficult for foreigners to get bursaries.

Seven of the teachers intended to migrate to other countries as part of their future career plans. Their preferred future destinations included South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Simba expressed "the sky is the limit" when it comes to the diverse choice of migration options open to him. Simba's long-term vision is to work one day at a private company or a non-educational department. He expressed, "I need to move up the work ladder " Only one teacher, Chipo, was unsure about her future career plans. The new critical skills visa has removed teachers from the list of critical skills required in South Africa, forcing most of these teachers to return home (Ragless, 2014). According to her, South Africa was also economically at a crossroad. She said:

I would like to stay on, but [] we are no longer welcome in South Africa and you can feel it. I think they have enough teachers now. The rand is weakening and it's making our stay to be less fruitful.

Six of the teachers reported that they wanted to teach at a tertiary institution. They felt "over qualified", "underutilised", that there was "no further development", and they were "not challenged enough" in secondary schools. Therefore, they wanted to improve their careers by teaching at tertiary education level.

It is clear that the teachers seek to position themselves to maximise the returns of their migration. They are improving themselves academically, in order to stand a good chance of coming up for promotion and securing better jobs. Six of them have set their target on teaching at tertiary level. Another seven are willing to even venture into further migration to countries, where they believe they could benefit more. This ties in with the participants' main motives of being able to put food on the table, and lead decent lives, which the economic and political situation in Zimbabwe would not allow.

Return Prospects of the Participants

Transnational Theory highlights the important ongoing links that migrants maintain with their source countries. Migration from Zimbabwe has been characterized as being primarily of a temporary, circular nature (Crush & Tawodzera, 2013). Asked if their future plans included an eventual return to Zimbabwe, four teachers indicated that they definitely intended to return to Zimbabwe soon. However, these four prospective return-migrants reported that they had no intention of working in the education sector again; their plan was instead to start a career in farming, law practice, business, or politics. Nine teachers mentioned that they might eventually return to their home country, but only in the longer term. These prospective return-migrants had adopted a wait-and-see attitude, as they wanted the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe to improve before they went back. Maria, and Simba felt that "home is best." Chipo said, "I would like to retire and die in Zimbabwe [] If things improve in Zimbabwe, I would prefer to work in my own country." However, some teachers indicated that they were watching the political situation in South Africa and, if it deteriorated, they would consider moving back to Zimbabwe. According to Nomsa, the politics in South Africa changed on a regular basis, and "you never know what will happen next week."

Only two participant teachers (Gladys and Langa) indicated that they had no intention to ever return to Zimbabwe. Gladys said, "South Africa is the only country that the children know. Two of them were born here. They are happy [] and when they go to Zimbabwe they are strangers there." On the other hand, Langa explained that as a family they had invested heavily in their lives in South Africa, "Going back, I think, is very difficult to start all over again." Therefore, Gladys and Langa choose to remain in South Africa permanently for the sake of their families, once again indicating how crucial the families were in the decision-making processes of the migrant teachers.


Conclusion and Recommendations

The migration of Zimbabwean teachers to South Africa is an enormous benefit to the South African education system, where they are able to assist in addressing skills gaps in certain schools. Migrant teachers help address teacher shortages, bring diversity in teaching with them, and contribute to the overall gain in human capital. In general, it appears that the economic and political instability in Zimbabwe, a push factor, played a much stronger role than did pull factors such as the close proximity of South Africa, and the existence of a migration network in South Africa. The close proximity of South Africa with its relative political stability, relative wealth, and nascent democracy, made South Africa an obvious choice as a destination country.

The migration networks made up of friends and relatives were a most effective way of finding employment in secondary schools, according to the participants, as was the personal submission of their CVs to schools. This emanated from the findings that the majority of these teachers had ambitious future career plans. They indicated that further studies would offer them more opportunities as foreigners in South Africa. Migrants maintain, build, and reinforce multiple linkages with their country of origin (Heisler, 2008). Similarly, most of the prospective return-migrants who participated in this study maintained ties with their source country, and were planning to migrate back to Zimbabwe in the short or long term.

Inward teacher migration is a significant contributor to teacher supply in South Africa. This migration of teachers is not sustainable in the long term, and has been recognised as a stopgap measure (Keevy, 2014). This trend is consistent with findings of the current study. The skills, expertise, experience, knowledge, and cultural heritage that migrant teachers bring with them can have an enormous impact on learners, education, and society (Daniels & Green, 2014).

The use of migrant teachers to fill up gaps within South Africa cannot be a viable long-term solution to the problem of supply and demand that the country is experiencing. The Zimbabwean migrant teachers are in the country for now, due to the prevailing push and pull factors, but the situation could change in a matter of months. As people who seek to maximise the benefits of their migration endeavour, migrant teachers are ready to move to areas where they can sell their labour for more. Already, a number are thinking about migrating to higher-paying economies. It is recommended that the South African Government address the issues of teacher development and retention whilst it still finds migrant teachers in its classrooms. Admittedly, there is a steady increase in the number of South African trained teachers entering the system per year since 2013 (Green, 2014; Van Broekhuizen, 2015). Measures to retain these new teachers within the system must be re-enforced. Migrant teachers play a crucial role while balance is being sought between demand and supply of teachers in the country. They ought to be given fair contracts that might encourage those who want to stay on to do so, since most of them are already teaching crucial subjects. Although this study provided a glimpse into the migration of Zimbabwean teachers, it would be important to analyse the impact of international teacher migration on the children of these migrant teachers.



The research for this article was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF), but solely reflects the views of the authors. We are grateful to all interviewees who shared their experiences. We also acknowledge the valuable comments that we obtained from the reviewers, which helped to shape this paper.



i. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence.



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