Education secretary makes U-turn on Mat South schools

Source: Education secretary makes U-turn on Mat South schools – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 2, 2017

PRIMARY and Secondary Education ministry secretary, Slyvia Utete-Masango, has made a U-turn, saying Matabeleland South province needs at least 2 055 more schools, hardly a fortnight after she threatened to close more than 40 schools in the region citing low enrolment levels.


Wednesday, while officially opening Valukhalo Secondary School in Empandeni, Utete-Masango said most schools in the region required a massive facelift, as they were satellite centres running on makeshift infrastructure.

“This school was a satellite school and now it is a formalised school,” she said.

“You saw me handing over the registration of the school. If anything, what the ministry is after is to make sure that we have more schools opening.

“That is the thrust of the ministry. I did indicate we still have a deficit of schools in the region of 2 056, and we could say because of this new school, we can safely say the shortfall is now 2 055, because this school is a plus.”

Two weeks ago, Utete-Masango courted controversy when she announced that the government was planning to shut down over 40 schools in the region because of low enrolment figures, but Education minister Lazarus Dokora (pictured) immediately quashed the claim.

Utete-Masango donated science laboratory furniture worth $8 100 to Valukhalo Secondary School following a request by acting headmistress, Regina Dube.

“The school had its first group of Form 1s in May 2013. This year, the school has a total enrolment of 280 learners,” Dube said.

“This is a 73% enrolment increase. The school requires massive injection of funding for procurement for technical subjects’ tools, equipment, material, construction of specialists’ rooms for teaching and learning of subjects, the school, therefore, extends its long hand of begging in cash or kind.”