BY VANESSA GONYE
SCHOOLS in Chivi are reeling under the effects of the Tugwi-Mukosi Dam expansion, which saw at least 1 500 families being relocated to pave way for the project.
A number of schools are grappling with an influx of students, resulting from displacements, with some having to enrol as many as 1 500 pupils.
Madzivire Primary School head Martin Gwengo said his school was affected by the relocation of families as it registered more than 1 500 students from the normal 450 at the height of the project, putting pressure on the institution’s facilities.
“We have a problem with infrastructure as we are unable to cater for all the 1 500 students. In some classes, we have had to use tree shades as classrooms.
However, the local MP, Killer Zivhu, has donated some material to construct a classroom block as well as a computer block to avert the crisis,” he said.
Gwengo said despite the assistance, a lot still needed to be done to enable the school to offer quality education and match the requirements of the new curriculum.
“The school, with the assistance of our MP and the community, has managed to construct and electrify a computer laboratory. We do not have computers at the moment although plans are underway to engage some donors so that it becomes easier to manage our lot,” he said.
Several schools in the area are also said to be facing similar problems, with their enrolments way above the schools’ means.
Tawanda Ndlovu, the headmaster at Mutoti Primary School, said some displaced villagers had registered their children at the few available schools in Chivi, with his school currently unable to match the sudden influx of pupils.
“We have 18 teachers and around 867 pupils, and the expansion of infrastructure has begun, with the construction of two classroom blocks currently underway.
The school does not have electricity, therefore, teaching information communication technology skills is a challenge,” he said.
Zivhu said he considered the issue of schools’ overpopulation as very urgent, thus the his preoccupation with the assistance..
“The plight of the schools is very serious. The enrolments are overwhelming and we have started the construction of classroom blocks so as to avert the crisis.
So far, 44 classroom blocks have been constructed around the constituency out of an annual target of 58 and an overall of 120 blocks during my tenure,” he said.
Tugwi-Mukosi is the largest inland dam in Zimbabwe, with a 90-metre dam wall and a back throw of over 35 kilometres. When full to capacity, the dam can hold more than 1,8 billion cubic litres of water.