At least 14 schools are set to be constructed and registered in the Nyaminyami district of Kariba under Government’s Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).
Kariba district has 60 schools (16 secondary and 44 primary) against a population in the region of 72 000, resulting in most learners walking long distances to school.
In contrast, neighbouring Hurungwe district has 200 schools.
There is also a high number of unregistered schools, affecting learners sitting for their national examinations, who have to register at their nearest registered schools.
This has resulted in several children failing to register or sit for their final examinations. Funds have been availed for the construction of Mayovhe and Mangwara schools as part of measures to spread education in the area.
Mashonaland West provincial education director Mr Gabriel Mhuma said parents in Kariba rural were beginning to appreciate the need to invest in the education of their children.
“Most of the schools in Kariba rural are building structures and to me that is the greatest requirement for the registration of the schools.
“My team went to 14 schools in Kariba rural and currently the Department of Physical Planning is making physical plans for the 14 schools. Out of the 14, we may be able to register between five and seven of them,” said Mr Mhuma.
He observed that the positive development was as a result of engagement with the community to fully support education.
Communities in Kariba district have been reluctant to participate in the education of their children through providing labour, materials and money for upgrading of infrastructure.
Addressing the Kariba district schools Covid-19 response launch at Mahombekombe Primary School in Kariba recently, Mr Mhuma took a swipe at some headmasters who were neglecting their schools.
School heads, he said should revive their facilities and put in place measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus when schoolchildren return.
This comes amid concerns that some schools have become dysfunctional and neglected with overgrown grass as heads stay home claiming to be on lockdown.
He said school heads should put in place strategies to protect learners.
“Some school heads claim that they are locked down and indeed their buildings and their gates are locked. No one is even attending to well-wishers who might bring materials to the needy schools.
“Nothing is happening at their schools. The school heads have even gone on holiday while grass continues to grow unchecked at their institutions. I think heading a school is essential service,” said Mr Mhuma.
At least eight schools in Kariba district, including Mahombekombe, Nyamhunga and Elite schools, have started making masks and sanitisers.
Kariba district education officer Mr Jason Dzveta said the district was targeting to have all examination classes returning to school once Government gives the green light.