BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
PRIMARY and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema says 3 000 more schools are needed in the country to fully accommodate learners.
Mathema made the remarks last Thursday at the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa-run Tennyson Hlabangana High School in Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe has 9 600 schools, a learner population of 4,5 million, and 140 000 teaching staff.
He said schools should invite private investors to engage in build operate and transfer ventures to improve their infrastructure so that every district has at least one boarding school.
“Our population is increasing and, therefore, more schools are needed because some pupils are walking more than 5km to school,” Mathema said.
“Our research as a ministry showed that we need 3 000 more schools because government is saying no child should walk more than 5km to school.”
He said the country every year recorded about
300 000 candidates for Grade 7, and yet there were
24 000 boarding places for students to compete for Form 1 places. He said more boarding schools were needed.
“There is also need to do away with blair toilets at schools as they now belong to the past and are uncomfortable. Schools must be able to produce their own uniforms as we are teaching students clothing designing and fashion and fabrics,” he said.