School shortage angers locals

Cowdray Park residents have expressed anger over the shortage of schools in their area.

A long walk to school has a negative effect on the education of children.
A long walk to school has a negative effect on the education of children.

Currently the area has three schools, two primary schools and one secondary school, forcing students to travel as far as LuveveorEmakhandeni on a daily basis.

Residents lambasted the government for neglecting them and failing to provide adequate educational facilities for their children.

“I am very surprised that we only rely on three schools. If you lookat the distances our children travel to these local schools, it’sridiculous, but we have no choice as our government doesn’t care. We end up sending our kids to neighboring areaslike Emakhandeni and Luveve, but firstpreference is given to the local children at these schools,” said a local parent, Raymond Ndlovu.

Continued expansion

Another parent, Samantha Chimakure, said she was surprised that thegovernment continued to expandCowdray Park, but failed to equip it with educational facilities.

“These so-called politicians, they come here when it’s election time, but in reality they don’t really care about the future of our kids.Education is the key to success, but how can we succeed if we have such a shortage of schools?

Our kids travel long distances to neighbouringareas in search of education. This makes life difficult for them asthey find it hard to concentrate when they are so exhausted. We can’t afford transportation costs.”

A student from Tategule Primary School, Miriam Moyo,said that the additional pressure of a long commute made things even more difficult for students to excel.

‘It’s painful to travel so far to school, never mind walking in the hot sun. I wish someone would help us,” she said.

The Minister of Education, Sport,Arts and Culture, Senator David Coltart, said it was unlikely that the area would get another school due to lack of funds.

“I am aware that there are many areas throughout Zimbabwe that badly need either new schools or additional classrooms. Sadly, the budgetallocated to my Ministry is completely inadequate. In 2011, we received$14, 8 million to run 8000 schools andeducate over three million children. This is less than $5 per child, permonth. That sum was insufficient to even maintain schools let alone construct more. “Until we receive a substantial increase in the amountof money actually transferred to the Ministry, we are not going to bein a position to build new schools. The only other source of funds forthis area is the Bulawayo City Council which I know is also strappedfor cash. We need to, and would like to, expand the number of schools, but we do not have the money to do so at present.”

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