When the waiting period stretched towards three decades-and-a-half, they decided to join hands and do it for themselves.
Starting in August last year, the villagers who live midway between the villages of Mbimba and Jutyume, contributed resources with the assistance of their South African-based colleagues to start building Zamimpilo Pre-School, which will cater for mainly Grades 0-2 pupils.
“We started off by donating R100 each, which we used to buy building material,” said Ozias Sibanda, administrator for Tjibudzana White City Group, initiators of the project.
So far, the villagers have moulded bricks, gathered sand, bought cement and other building material that includes door frames and window frames.
“It was just seven of us when the scheme started, but that number has now grown to accommodate every villager in our area and the project has grown in leaps and bounds. We have started off by building three classes and a staff cottage, but we want to ultimately develop the structure into a full-fledged primary school within the next few years.”
Far from being a protest move against government’s failure to build more educational infrastructure in an area whose residents President Mugabe recently gloated were “uneducated”, Sibanda said their project came after the realisation that young children “suffered a lot” during their introductory years of school.
“We are talking about very young children who had to walk distances of about 5kilometres or more going to the nearest school, having to brave unfavourable weather conditions like rain and cold as they rushed to beat the first bell, which usually rings at 7am. Children of the five-year age group cannot run such distances and that had either resulted in most children delaying registration or having to go through such kind of abuse,” he said.
“It is when we are done with the first phase that we will invite government to help us build a complete primary school. Our area is lagging behind and we really need such assistance. We will also need qualified school teachers and other members of staff and all that cannot happen without government support.”
Already, the pre-school is registered and building of the first classes could be completed anytime within the next few weeks. The aim is to accommodate the Grades 0-2 and then move on to the other classes as and when resources permit.
“We are also appealing to non-governmental organisations, government and the corporate world to come on board and assist us speed up this project. This is just the beginning of a wide-pronged approach to develop our area and after completion of the school, we will move on to the construction of a clinic, dam and water pump for the area.”Post published in: News