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THE government has said in the next five years no school should be operating from pole and mud structures as this compromises the quality of education.
The Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavhima said this on Tuesday during the commissioning of four classroom blocks at Tshayile Primary School in Bubi District.
The classroom blocks were commissioned by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko who was represented by the Minister of State in his office, Tabitha Malinga-Kanengoni. The government in partnership with the Japanese Embassy constructed the four classroom blocks at a cost of $102,000.
Tshayile Primary School did not have any meaningful infrastructure with pupils learning from classrooms made from pole and mud.
It also did not have furniture.
Prof Mavhima said the government embarked on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) after realising that schools with no requisite infrastructure cannot produce quality education.
He said through PPPs, the government was hoping to address infrastructural problems in schools.
“We want joint ventures like this to continue so that we can improve the quality of our education.
“In the next five years we don’t want our children in schools to learn in similar conditions where kids are housed in pole and mud buildings. We can’t achieve quality education under such circumstances,” he said.
Prof Mavhima said through PPPs, the government was looking for partners who will not dictate terms but share its educational vision.He hailed the Japanese for being the country’s true friends through unconditional partnership.
“That’s who we’re looking for. We want friends who’ll understand that we need partners especially in areas where the local community can’t construct schools on their own,” said Prof Mavhima.
Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Yoshi Hiraishi, said communities should be responsible enough to ensure that school infrastructure serves future generations.
“I would like to underline one aspect of our assistance. If I say it using one word, that word will be sustainability.
“The most important thing is constant maintenance of these facilities. It is the responsibility of the school and the community to take good care of them (classrooms) for years to come,” said Hiraishi.
Bubi MP, Clifford Sibanda, who is also the Minister of State in the Office of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, said the partnership was in fulfilment of the government’s thrust of enhancing quality education.
He said Tshayile Primary School was one success story but more needs to be done to improve education in the constituency.
“It’s a great opportunity and we’re grateful to our partners for what has happened to this community.
We’ve 53 more satellite schools that need to be improved. And we’ll be subtracting them one by one,” he said. By Nqobile Tshili- Source-chronicle