MORE than three decades after the country got its independence, to say some schools in rural Zimbabwe are in a deplorable state is an understatement, as the situation of children from these communities is hopeless.
Dhirihori Primary School is no exception. It was established in 1935, and up to now no renovations have been done and it is now in a depleted state.
The school is located in the Svosve area in Marondera East constituency.
It has an enrolment of 617 pupils and the shortage of classrooms is dire.
Only three dilapidated buildings serve as classrooms for the pupils such that the majority of them take lessons in the open despite the cold weather that usually characterises winter.
Last week NewsDay visited the school and some of the pupils were having lessons under trees and taking turns to share the three and roof-leaking classrooms.
The head of the school Faustina Kwaramba said the school was facing many challenges, from furniture, classrooms to teachers’ accommodation.
“There are only three blocks at the school and most of the children have to endure the harsh weather as they learn in the open,” Kwaramba said.
“Previously the school had 13 blocks which were built in 1935, the blocks were very old, the walls were cracking and the roofs falling in.
“The community demolished 10 blocks in April as they were a danger and the roof could collapse,” she added.
She said they were forced to moved the Grade Six pupils to a nearby school as the three classrooms could not accommodate all the pupils.
A Grade Seven pupil Tatenda Makunyadzi said she did not like the state of the school, but she had no option, but to endure as what was important was to attend classes at all costs.
“Although I do not like the appearance of our school, I am happy that I am able to be at school and learn,” said Tatenda.
Marondera East MP Jeremiah Chiwetu said that he was aware of the sorry state of the school and said plans were at an advanced stage to mobilise resources to renovate the school.
“I have been to Dhirihori Primary School and I know it is in a terrible state and I will source funds to renovate it.”
“I am working with the people from this community so as to give this school a new face with the building of new classrooms blocks and sanitary facilities which include toilets and boreholes” said Chiwetu.
According to a parent who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity said parents have started to mould bricks to construct classroom blocks.
“My sister, many people come here promising us that they will construct buildings for the school, but to no avail hence we have decided to mould bricks so that our children can learn. We are fast approaching the rainy season so we have to move fast before the first rains,” she said