Blessings Chidakwa Herald Correspondent
The Chinese business community in Zimbabwe continues to make an impact on the country’s education sector after a leading company, Tian Ze Tobacco, donated school uniforms worth $216 000 to a local primary school.
Tian Ze Tobacco officials handed over uniforms for 688 pupils and suits for all teachers at Dunolly Primary School in Harare South.
Addressing guests at the school, Tian Ze Tobacco head of leaf operations Mr Lin Hanpeng said; “Education is the best investment. We want to help more children in Zimbabwe to fulfil their dreams by giving them proper education. The uniform donation is just but part of our ongoing commitment to the partnership between China Tobacco and the Dunnolly community.
“A uniform is a necessity for school children. The hardship and difficult situations under which children are living are causing many not to achieve their dreams. The simple fact that some families are not able to support their children with school fees, uniforms and stationary is not a reason for a child not to be at school.”
Dunnolly Primary School headmistress Ms Euphemia Machiridza said the donation of school uniforms will go a long way in curbing absenteeism at the school as some learners were shunning classes due to an inferiority complex.
A guardian, Rhoda Oputen (70) said, the intervention was a shot in the arm for her two grandsons in Grade 2 and 6.
“As the guardian, l feel relieved as l was struggling to buy the uniforms. Even some of our rich relatives failed, but it took strangers to provide,” she said.
Mrs Miriam Mutandawa, a parent, said: “I am grateful for the uniforms as only a few people can do this, l have two children one in ECD and Grace 5, but l was cracking my head on how l would provide the uniforms.”
Grade 6 pupil Fadzai Mwaudzeri expressed her gratitude to the company promising to take good care of the uniform.
Tian Ze has been supporting the school since 2008 when it spent over US$1 million to build classroom blocks, teachers’ offices and other facilities at the school.