WITH only a few schools registered as examination centres in Hwange district, examination time is a scary affair for pupils who have to walk over 10km through wild animals-infested bushes.
Many pupils wake up during the wee hours of the day as they prepare to go to school.
In their worn-out clothes and shoes, they are ready to walk a 10km-long journey through the thick, wild animals-infested bushes. Most cleave onto a plastic paper bag with stationery — a pen, ruler, book and a pencil as they head to write their final examinations.
Hwange district primary and secondary education officer Walter Dube says the shortage of examination centres is because of lack of registered schools in the respective rural areas.
Hwange district has 21 annex schools, which are only convenient to conduct class lessons.
Secondary school learners from Lubangwe village walk 10km to the nearest examination centre with registration under Matetsi Secondary School, while primary school learners from Woodlands resettlement walk 7km to the nearest examination centre under Breakfast Primary School or to Nyongolo Primary School.
The long distances which the learners walk are risky, as they often encounter wild animals.
In January 2020, a young girl was trampled to death by a bull elephant when she was coming from school, a situation which has worsened existing fears among the villagers.
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Matetsi ward councillor Bernard Mhlanga has appealed to government to upgrade the satellite schools and turn them into registered schools which will be conducive for examining pupils.
The district so far has 24 registered secondary schools and 82 registered primary schools operating under the Hwange district council.
Most satellite schools in the district also suffer from lack of adequate human resources and learning materials as they are supported by communities surrounding them. — Citizen