Private or Government/ Other School, does it matter?

Where you are today. Did your background or the school you went to determine the kind of life you have today? Have you failed or succeeded because you went to a “substandard” school or A class school? Does the school a person goes to really matter.

I have often heard parents who are so proud of their children. “She could construct a proper English sentence by age 3”. Fair enough. The construction of this English sentence by the way is heavily accented the British way. Now is this always a sign that your child is getting quality education?

On our YA Breakfast show the other day, myself, Davies Mugadza, Fungie Mawada and Lesly Moyo argued about this issue. How often do you see people who were educated at private schools who are not deemed ‘successful’? Success is in quotes here obviously because we measure it in strangely different ways. The basic of course is material possessions. Do you own a house? (How many), a car (how many), a business-how big, savings-how sustainable.

The thing with having parents who can take you to an expensive private school is multi-faceted according to me. You could come from a wealthy family. Wealth that will span your fifth generation. So going to that school is only standard-standard etiquette, standard expected. You are going to school to learn how to aid the management of the family wealth. You could come from an OK family. Your parents will sacrifice bread, cattle and property to take you there so you can twing twing like other children they see. Maybe you can get a scholarship or the assistance of a rich or wealthy relative. Hameno

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Image taken from

Let us take two children who come from OK families or seriously less than OK. Who has the better life? I went to a government school. My parents did try to take me to a private school, they wanted that for me. But, they considered that in three years it would choke them, considering an extended family that they had committed to take care of. Am I successful? Far from it. Have I failed? Of course not, I am heading to that point where I will look back and say, I worked hard for all this.

An aunt of mine told me recently that children who go to private schools have already been successful. Going there is a first step to success. With their lovely uniforms and matching bags, undies and food boxes. Their proper disciplinary measure (whatever those are). In comparison to the other child, mismatched, torn uniform. Shoes of any colour, stockings not inspected etc.

I thought of some of the women and men in Zimbabwe, working for international bodies-who go to Murewa, Darwin, Buhera etc, to visit their 10km faraway school from home. Very successful people who describe the kind of poverty stricken life they had. Private schools of course do come with a knowledge and exposure of many worldly things-at a global level so to speak. Government-whether rural or urban also come with a different exposure. I do not think any of those experiences is less than the other-it’s a question of relevancy, in the world we live in.

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Image taken from

My personal thoughts are if you can afford what you think is a good school for your child, take them there. The past has an impact on the future and this can come negatively or positively. Poverty may motivate a person to be successful, wealth may cause one to relax and think everything is ok. Both situations can be reversed too, some fail to wake up out of their poverty and some are inspired to add value to the wealth in their family.

It probably boils down to an individual and sometimes the values instilled in us by families.


  1. I agree in the end its down to the individual… you know that expression about how you can lead is a mule or something to the river, but you cant make it drink…
    That said, going to the somewhat “better” schools does give one an advantage (If one is inclined to utilize said advantage, its like you get a foot in the door but weird thing about opportunities those who easily get them rarely make the fullest use of them) …. (Mapudzi anowira kune vasina hari hmmm is that even the proper use for that one would that I had paid more attention in my shona classes, see thats the other thing I can not express myself half as well as I should be able to in shona sometimes I wonder if the next generations to come will remember who they are but I digress)

    I went to a catholic mission boarding school.


    Liked by 1 person

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