Johane Masowe’s ‘school of shame’

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Teachers and pupils at a makeshift Muchingura Primary School located at Johane Masowe shrine in Gandanzara, Manicaland province, have bemoaned lack of basic requirements such as furniture, textbooks and trained staff.

Report by Staff Reporters

 
The primary school was established at the church shrine in 1983 although it is not yet registered with the Ministry of Education, Arts, Sport and Culture.

 
The school’s teacher-in-charge, Angeline Kutsanzira, told NewsDay last week that classes were conducted while pupils were squatting on the floors as they did not have chairs and desks. Kutsanzira herself has no formal teacher training qualification. The school, which has an enrolment of 145 pupils and five “teachers”, resembles a “cattle pen” compared to the imposing Johane Masowe shrine located adjacent to it.

 
“Our students get cold in winter while sitting on the floor and it’s hard for them to concentrate. We need chairs and desks to improve this unfortunate situation,” Kutsanzira said.

 
“We are not registered with the Ministry of Education, Arts, Sport and Culture. We rely on other schools where our pupils go to sit for their examinations.”
Pupils pay $3 a month as fees which is used to pay salaries for the five teachers employed by the church.

 
Ironically, the church elders said they were committed to improving the quality of education for their children, but were constrained by lack of resources.