The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is mindful of the importance of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Two, which seeks to achieve universal primary education for all by 2015, hence it will invest in new schools and expand on the existing ones, the city’s deputy mayor Amen Mpofu has said.
Speaking at the handover of computers and books worth over $5 000 to Magwegwe library by Magwegwe MP Felix Magalela Sibanda on Friday, Mpofu said BCC had been working to ensure they met the MDG targets.
“We want to ensure that indeed every child in Bulawayo has access to education. Our attempts have been noted in our partnership with the Ministry of Education, where we have constructed a total of 29 primary schools,” Mpofu said.
“We note that the schools are not enough and it is our plan once funds become available to build more schools, especially in the new suburbs, to alleviate the problem of hot seating and overstretching of the already existing facilities.
“In the areas where council already has existing structures, our intention is to expand these to accommodate the ever-growing population as well as reduce the number of children in a classroom.”
Mpofu added: “While we note that the above are already in the planned programmes for council, funding has been the major limiting factor affecting our implementation processes.
If funds were readily available, the education system for the city council would be totally different from what we have today.
“It is my hope that the city will be able to access funding through public-private partnerships, so as to build enough schools for the future of Bulawayo. Council proposes to build libraries in new suburbs to boost the acquisition of knowledge and instil a reading culture in the population, especially the youth who are still at school. This programme can only be implemented when funding is available.”
He said the local authority was planning on turning around schools into centres of excellence.
“In the long term we anticipate that our schools will not only be places to acquire education, but they should have mini-stadiums which will also groom the child to follow an alternative route from academia to a sporting career. Schools should have a diverse number of co-curricular activities such as tennis, rugby, swimming and many others,” Mpofu said.