BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
Communities in Mangwe district, Matabeleland South province, have been urged not to take the back seat in the education of their children.
Speaking at the commissioning of a classroom block refurbished by the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) at Kwite Primary School in the district yesterday, provincial education director Beatrice Manjere urged the community to prioritise their children’s education.
“There should not be any child who should be left behind. Every child should be at school whatever the barriers, be it hunger, school fees, they should come to us and we will attend to them,” she said.
“Mangwe should not be left behind and if we don’t push, we will be left behind. We need to make sure that our children’s future is well prepared by empowering them with the needs of education. So, as parents, you have a duty and let’s work together.”
Manjere said the refurbishment of the classroom block and many similar projects across the province would address the safety concerns of learners.
“Mangwe, being prone to strong winds and adversely affected by climate change, has seen most of the schools’ classroom blocks being destroyed by strong winds and some schools in the district suffered even human losses due to lighting. As such, the Meteorological Services Department has been roped in for the project software components,” she said.
“Through this project, some schools with blocks destroyed by strong winds and other weather elements were built back better in compliance with the required standard of construction that ensures among other things, good ventilation through insertion of standard size windows, replacement of asbestos sheets with iron sheets for roofing and also insertion of two doors per class to ensure easy exit in times of disasters.
“The retrofitted classroom blocks have access ramps by the doors for easy access by the disabled members of our communities especially learners and teachers on wheelchairs. This also dovetails with the government mantra of leaving no one behind.”
Manjere said apart from the refurbishment of the classroom block, targeted schools were supported in constituting school disaster management committees which are trained in disaster management, school risk assessment and contingency planning.
ZRCS vice-president Dubilizwe Mpofu emphasised on the safety of learners.
“The overall expected outcome of this intervention is to ensure that children and youth, and their home communities, are more resilient to disasters and have safer learning environments, are better able to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters,” Mpofu said.
The project saw the construction of girl child and disabled-friendly toilets at the school.
The project is currently in its second phase and has seen the incorporation of five more schools, bringing the total to 15 schools.