JUNIOR Member of Parliament for Mutasa North constituency in Hauna, Honde Valley, Anca Mikayla Zulu has challenged the government to take education of children in her area seriously by providing adequate resources to schools in her constituency.
Zulu told NewsDay at Makwasa Primary School in Honde Valley that the area had few schools that were facing limited resource challenges leading to dismal failure.
“The government must come to the rescue and make life easier for children in Honde Valley, especially for those living with disabilities by constructing more schools near villages to make education easily accessible for them,” Zulu said.
“Also, government must help to promote friendly and conducive learning environment for inclusive education so that children with special needs be in schools as they are currently forced to travel for long distances to acquire education,” Zulu lamented.
“Most of the schools in my constituency have limited books, furniture and so are teachers, resulting in pupils registering dismal pass rates.”
Zulu recently presented a petition to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education on behalf of children in her constituency highlighting concerns that she said required urgent attention.
“As children, we are concerned with the need for basic education to all children, regardless of race, status or disability.
“We would want the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to pay particular attention to the provision of adequate accommodation, provision of information technology and furniture, and provision of food and non-food items, among other needs,” part of the petition read.
Zulu also expressed concern over the issues of school dropouts and early marriages in her constituency.
Makwasa Primary School deputy headmistress Pheobe Chinzou appealed for support from well-wishers towards the construction of dormitories at the school for pupils with disabilities.
“We don’t have proper accommodation and we are appealing for well-wishers who can help us improve the situation,” she said.
Chinzou said she was also worried about the teacher-to-pupil ratio as teachers were not staying long due to accommodation and transport issues.
Parents echoed Zulu’s sentiments, challenging government and relevant authorities to help children living with disabilities to be in schools.
“Children living with disabilities have problems with movement due to our mountainous terrain and on several occasions, they fail to catch up with school time due to distance,” a parent, Patrick Kamujariwa, said.
“The problems are worsened during the rainy season with some even failing to come as the rivers will be flooded.”
Another parent Bridget Murigo said: “Schools in our areas have the shortage of teachers and learning material which is a great disadvantage to those children living with disabilities who requires maximum attention.”
With 34 years after independence, some schools in rural areas are in a shocking state and the people’s only hope lies in the government.
Recently, the country’s education sector has come under scrutiny with Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora being accused of destroying the sector.
Different derogatory words among them Dofo-ra (ignoramus) has been invented to refer to Dokora for his alleged destruction of the country’s education sector.
Dokora is being ridiculed and accused of coming up with reforms he seems to understand and believe can help transform the country’s education system.
Regardless of Dokora’s words that the government was working on improving the learning conditions of pupils and had mobilised $17 million to revamp schools’ infrastructure especially in resettlement areas, some children in rural areas and some resettled communities still learn under trees, therey exposed to the elements of harsh weather conditions.