CHIVI — The only refurbishment Maringire Primary School got since it was established in 1918 was extending one classroom block, 35 years after Zimbabwe’s independence.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
Despite being strategically located 70km from Masvingo close to the Beitbridge Highway, nothing has changed or improved for the school, save for the dilapidation that the six blocks have undergone over time.
The classrooms have cracked walls and leaking roofs, posing a safety time bomb to the 765 pupils.
“When it is raining, we dismiss classes and crowd all the pupils in one safe building for fear that the roofs may fall in. Most of the blocks are condemned,” the school head, Toyani Tevera, said.
“We even offered one block to worshippers from a local church who also condemned the classroom as unfit for use.”
Chivi Rural District Council chairman Killer Zivhu recently refurbished one block and the head’s office, donated 90 chairs and 90 desks, as well as pledged 50 cement bags for the refurbishment of another block.
The block that was given a facelift has since been named after him.
Tevera said such a donation was a timely intervention and a wake-up call to the parents who were not paying the $20 fees per term for their children at the school.
“There was need for such an intervention as pupils were learning while seated on the floor as if we are a satellite school. We still we expect more, but we have been jolted into action by such an intervention and we will also not fold our hands,” Tevera said.
Zivhu said he was touched by the pupils’ plight after seeing them learning while seated on the floor.
“The block was bad that I did not want my child to learn here. It was a death-trap. It was better that the pupils learn outside as anything could happen to the block,” he said.
“I did what I could and I was impressed by the turnout of parents who offered their labour for free. It is not like I have everything, but it is better to give the little that you have to the poor.”
Psychomotor minister Josaya Hungwe lauded Zivhu for the donation, saying he was complementing government efforts of creating a conducive learning environment
“We should create a conducive environment for education. Education is a limping sector because it lacks other things which Zivhu is rectifying, we want a system of education that empowers people to get jobs and earn a living through vocational skills,” he said.