The Sunday News
PARENTS with children at Mapazuli Primary School in the Midlands province’s Zvishavane district are appealing to President Mugabe to assist the school with furniture and other necessities that will help improve the learning environment for their children.
Mapazuli Primary School which has an enrolment of about 500 children is faced with a serious shortage of chairs and desks for pupils among other problems, with most of the children being forced to sit on the floor during lessons.
President Mugabe taught at the school in 1944 when the school was still known as Ruvanda.
Last year the President donated 41 mini-laptops and a solar panel to the school, a facility that only became functional this term after the school managed to secure a teacher for computer studies.
Parents who spoke to Sunday News during a visit to the school last week said more needed to be done to improve the learning environment at the school and appealed to the President to extend another helping hand to the community.
The School Development Association (SDA) chairperson for the school Mr Christopher Mapfumo said apart from the shortage of furniture, the school was blighted by numerous problems that needed urgent attention.
Mr Mapfumo said the Mapanzure community was highlighting the plight of their school to President Mugabe with the hope that the Head of State might be touched by the dire situation of the school he once taught at.
“As you have seen for yourself children are having their lessons while sitting on the floor because we don’t have enough furniture. The few chairs and desks that are there are in a bad state and can disintegrate any time. Even when you look at the furniture that is being used by our teachers you will feel sorry. The desks are almost falling apart. We are appealing for donations from well-wishers. President Mugabe once donated computers to us and we are calling on him again to consider our plight and do something about our situation. He taught at this school before and we feel it should touch him that his former school is in such a bad situation. The little that he (President Mugabe) can do will be greatly appreciated,” he said.
Mr Mapfumo said the classroom blocks at the school were now old and some of the roofs leak heavily such that at times it was futile for pupils to seek shelter in their classrooms during heavy downpours.
He said efforts were underway to identify former students at the primary school with the aim of coming up with an old students association, whose main objective would be to improve the situation at the school.
Mr Mapfumo said the school missed out on developments initiated by the Zvishavane Community Share Ownership Trust as it only benefited from a perimeter fence erected around the school yard, while other schools had classroom blocks built and furniture bought for them by the trust.
He also revealed the school does not have shelter for Early Childhood Development (ECD) class with pupils in the class having to learn in the open.
He added that the school was faced with a shortage of teachers’ accommodation, with 23 teachers at the school being forced to share the seven houses available at the school.
“The ECD class only sits when the weather conditions are favourable. We are trying to mobilise resources to at least construct a makeshift structure where the pupils can learn on a temporary basis until we are able to build a proper classroom block for them.
“Teachers are faced with water shortages here and need a borehole drilled for them. The borehole which they share with the community is about 2km from the school.
“Sometimes members of the community lock it when there are serious water shortages in the area, denying teachers water,” said Mr Mapfumo.
Nganunu Village head Mr Etias Mufuri, under whose jurisdiction the school lies, echoed the SDA chairperson’s plea and called on President Mugabe to extend an arm to the school he once taught at.
Mr Mufuri is a former pupil at Mapazuli Primary School and was taught by President Mugabe in 1944 when he was doing his Sub A.