COTRAD Information Desk …
Shortage of Schools in Chiredzi Estates Impacts Negatively on Education…
The three main sugarcane estates, Mkwasine, Hippo Valley and Triangle in Chiredzi are facing a critical shortage of schools with hundreds of pupils failing to enroll for Early Childhood Development (ECD), Grade 1 and Form 1 every year. Speaking during a community meeting facilitated by Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) in Chiredzi West Constituency Ward 30, residents expressed concerns over school shortage in the estates.
The residents highlighted that Hippo Valley Estate has only 2 secondary schools, that is Hippo High and Muleme Secondary School- which is still developing and has a few blocks. The schools are reportedly crowded with learners therefore over-stretching the teacher -to -pupil ratio. Some pupils are learning outdoors -which is risky to children and teachers especially during windy days and the wet season. The shortage of schools has brought several negative effects which include high school dropouts. Travelling long distances every day is expensive and a burden to the children, some can eventually lose interest in learning, therefore dropping out of school.
Mr. Simbanegavi, Councilor for Chiredzi ward 30, informed the residents that the Chiredzi RDC is putting more focus on developing Muleme primary and secondary schools which accommodate learners from as far as Chiredzi East Constituency. Hippo Valley schools only accommodate students with parents employed at Tongaat Hulett leaving many learners unaccommodated. Mr. Simbanegavi encouraged the residents to unite and collectively demand increased and improved learning infrastructure from both the council and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary.
COTRAD calls upon the Ministry of Primary and Secondary, Chiredzi Rural District Council and public officials to respond to the call for increased and improved learning infrastructure in Chiredzi. “We also encourage residents to fearlessly and peacefully engage public officials and relevant ministries to present issues affecting their communities. Access to education is a constitution right enshrined in section 75 of the constitution of Zimbabwe. Section 276 of the constitution of Zimbabwe also states that, the Rural District Councils should raise sufficient revenue for them to carry out objectives and responsibilities in areas of their jurisdiction,” said Kupfuwa Ishmael COTRAD official.
Click the video link below to watch Mr. Simbanegavi, Councilor for ward 30 speaking during the COTRAD meeting.