Andrew Muvishi Herald Reporter
Government has started constructing 17 modern schools in rural areas courtesy of the $20 million provided by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
The programme is set to reduce the deficit of schools in the country, which currently stands at 2 000. Some of the 17 schools are now above slab level while others are at window level with construction expected to be complete on or before October 21.
Speaking during a tour of two schools in Craigside and Belone in Mashonaland Central, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima said no child in Zimbabwe should travel more than five kilometres to access a school.
“We started with 17 schools but the planning department is doing feasibility studies for 100 schools. We are targeting to build 2 000 modern schools in rural areas.
“Zimbabwe has a deficit of more than 2 000 schools, especially in new settlements and rural areas, resulting in children learning in tobacco barns and inadequate residential quarters for teachers,” said Professor Mavima.
“We are constructing modern schools, consisting of a computer lab and a library in primary schools, which is in line with the new curriculum,” he said. Craigside resident Mr Haggai Huchu said it was a dream come true to have a modern school in their community, which had to content with temporary teachers due to poor facilities.
“We started requesting for a school in 2008 and construction only started in 2014. It has not been an easy road so we are happy with this new development,” Mr Huchu said.
The Headmistress of Craigside Primary school Gracious Muchenje applauded Minister Mavima for the programme.
“We are happy with this new development, our children used to learn in tobacco barns and grading rooms for flowers,” she said. The programme is expected to spread to all 10 provinces.