Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
MAKONDE Rural District Council is dedicating a huge share of its 2023 devolution funds towards the construction of more classrooms and teachers’ houses.
This comes as the province targets the improvement of these facilities as a way of reducing the number of satellite and unregistered schools in the country.
Mashonaland West province tops the nation’s list of satellite and unregistered institutions with 435 schools.
Of the total number, 191 are secondary while 244 are primary schools mostly in rural areas.
Makonde has a total 63 schools that are not registered out of the 119 schools on its books.
Speaking to The Herald recently, Makonde chief executive officer Mr Paradzayi Munyede said the council’s targeted infrastructural upgrading was going to be supported by internal funding.
“We are targeting at upgrading all the schools with required infrastructure including staff housing, ablution facilities and classroom blocks. This is going to be supported by devolution funds that we have been allocated this year.
“By this target, we hope to have a big increase in registered schools in the district this year,” he said.
Registration of schools, he said, was going to improve pass rate in the district as pupils will walk short distances while at the same time eliminating change of environment that pupils from unregistered schools go through during national examination periods.
The council has constructed state-of-the-art Chidobera Primary School in Makonde Constituency using devolution funds.
The school is expected to be officially commissioned this term.
Addressing schools’ representatives attending the district schools’ awards, Makonde district schools inspector Solomon Katoma said in order to provide quality education in the district, at least 22 more schools were needed.
“Makonde district needs 12 more primary schools and 10 secondary schools. The need for new schools is more pressing in the urban area with Chinhoyi needing extra nine primary schools.
“In constructing these facilities, the minimum school functionality standards of Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should be observed and these standards cover the basic requirements for a school to function for ECD, Primary and Secondary schools,” said Mr Katoma.
The district education office is working with churches, urban and rural district councils, individuals and non-governmental organisations towards funding for the construction of new schools.