Home » Literacy » A School, a Future for Mlichi Community

Ever since he started school, Norbert Manyepo, a Grade 2 pupil at Mlichi Primary School, Hurungwe has known no other piece of classroom furniture apart from bricks and boulders that take the role of desks and benches as learning progresses in the dilapidated tobacco barns.

As Norbert and his peers dart into a half-roofed tobacco barn from a nearby pit latrine, a stranger is forced to suspect that child labour is going on inside the poorly ventilated building until they notice pencils dangling around the juveniles’ necks.

It is also when one discovers a smartly dressed lady standing in front of kids shooting their hands into the air that the notion of using the minors for tobacco grading in the dark building is finally put to rest.

For Norbert and his classmates the predicament of having lessons in dark buildings prone to dust and rains will soon be water under the bridge as construction of a modern Mlichi Primary and its sister secondary school has commenced in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset) that has also seen three local donors funding the building of the schools under a Public Private Partnership arrangement.

Construction work at the new site of the institution comes on the heels of a ground-breaking ceremony officiated by Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Faber Chidarikire a few weeks ago.

The multi-million-dollar project is the initiative of three Harare-based businessmen, Messrs Tirivashoma Kavisi, Benjamin Mudzindiko and Itai Matavhata Munenzva.

Mr Kavisi is an engineer by profession while Mr Mudzindiko and Mr Munenzva are into transport and farming business.

Mr Kavisi and Mr Mudzindiko hail from Magunje in Hurungwe while Mr Itai Matavata Munenzva comes from Mhondoro.

“We came up with the project as a way of serving the nation. Remember Zim-Asset’s main objective is to improve the state of the economy and people’s standards of living through the use of the resources that we have. Who else do you expect to come to Hurungwe and build schools if the people of Hurungwe do not initiate the projects themselves.

If the land is there why can we not get organised, mould bricks and build schools for our people?” asked Mr Kavisi.

Mlichi Secondary School vice chairman Mr Thomas Majongwe said the three men came to the rescue of the Mlichi community at a time it was struggling to mobilise resources to build a proper primary and a secondary school.

“The community was tasked to mould bricks while these men paid for the labour. So far the community has moulded hundreds of thousands of bricks some of which have already been ferried to the new site where construction is now in progress.

“As a community, we agreed that the new school shall operate in a manner that will uplift the welfare of the surrounding community in all respects. We expect all construction workers to come from around here unless there is need for other highly specialised skills. Even upon completion we also agreed that the matrons, security personnel, cooks and caretakers will all be sourced from around Hurungwe. This type of job creation is what Zim-Asset aocates for,” said Mr Majongwe.

According to Mr Kavisi on completion the two new schools which will both cater for boarders and day scholars, will comprise upmarket classrooms, hostels, dining halls, computer and science laboratories including e-learning facilities, libraries and teachers’ houses. The schools will also venture into projects like poultry and piggery.

He also added that the school would have the potential of becoming a university.

“If all goes according to plan the school will transform into a university, becoming the first ever university in the district,” said Mr Kavisi.

During the ground-breaking ceremony Cde Chidarikire hailed the three partners for respecting the provisions of Zim-Asset and the Millennium Development Goals, both of which he said focused on the need for education for every child.

He urged schoolchildren to reciprocate by fully utilising the educational opportunities availed to them, saying education acquired, unlike other forms of material wealth, was a legacy that could never be snatched away from them.

He also thanked a local farmer, Mr Mubhonderi, for donating 27ha of land towards the construction of the secondary school over and above the 26,8ha that had initially been set aside for the construction of the primary school upon the designation of the farm in 2001.

According to Hurungwe Rural District Council chief executive officer Mr Joram Moyo, Mr Mubhonderi offered 27 hectares of land to the holder of the land adjacent to the primary school plot as a benevolent gesture for allowing both schools to stand side by side.

“The owner of the plot adjacent to the primary school plot was offered alternative land at the nearby Miami Farm by Mr Mubhonderi so that the two schools were on the same site for convenience.

“This does not mean the owner was unconstitutionally removed from his plot as this is in line with the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 29:12 which allows such to happen for the purposes of community projects,” said Mr Moyo.

The site of the two schools is 20km from Karoi and lies 500 metres west of the Harare-Chirundu Highway.

The construction of the school is set to secure the future of children of the community by affording them a chance to learn under decent conditions.

Source : The Herald