The Sunday News
Marvelous Moyo Gwanda Correspondent
A NEW primary school is under construction in Gwanda Town, a development expected to help decongest schools in the mining town. The construction of the Gwanda Adventist Primary School in Spitzkop North Extension is being facilitated by Maranatha Volunteers International, an arm of the Adventist Church.
Although the project had been stalled for almost 13 years after the council allocated the school stand in September 2002, work at the site has started and is progressing well.
Speaking during a reception for project facilitators at the Gwanda Town Municipality Chambers recently, the South Zimbabwe Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church president, Reverend Jeffrey Sibanda, said Maranatha Volunteers sourced funds from well-wishers to bring a positive difference in the communities through support of the education sector among others.
“We believe Adventist education has a niche in being holistic. We emphasise a holistic approach to education and so in our coming over to have a school in Gwanda, we want to bring quality education and a difference to the Gwanda community,” he said.
He said if resources were available, their desire was to build a minimum of three more secondary schools in Matabeleland in the coming three years.
SDA is a worldwide church that operates schools, clinics, hospitals and churches.
It runs 51 primary and secondary schools in Zimbabwe of which 15 of its schools are in Matabeleland South Province and also Solusi University.
Speaking at the same meeting, Matabeleland South provincial education director Mrs Tumisang Thabela revealed that Gwanda urban schools were congested hence the establishment of the new school would help reduce congestion at the existing schools.
Some classes in the congested schools have more than 50 pupils.
“The coming in of this new school will assist the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in decongesting our primary schools in Gwanda Town, that is Senondo which has 1198 pupils and Jahunda which has 1222 pupils.
“It will also reduce distances travelled by pupils from Spitzkop Township to the nearest primary school. Currently, the distances travelled expose our pupils to dangers and results in tragic incidents as children cross the roads,” she said.
Mrs Thabela applauded some adventist schools for being the flagship schools in the province.
Acting Gwanda Town Mayor Councillor Albert Ndlovu said the municipality was excited about the development and urged other churches to emulate the gesture by the SDA Church saying stands for building more schools were still available.
The guest of honour, the provincial administrator Mr Midard Khumalo, who represented the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Abedinico Ncube, welcomed the initiative and encouraged SDA to continue with its support for the education sector in the province.
He encouraged the Volunteers to build more schools in Gwanda and throughout the province. “We want to appreciate your coming to Gwanda and assisting in the development of the education sector. We hope you will continue with the same spirit ,” Mr Khumalo said.
He encouraged the SDA to embrace ZimAsset in their activities and address the needs of the communities by promoting skills development to help communities create employment for themselves.
Mr Khumalo said they also appreciated the role played by other churches in promoting development in the province in education and other sectors.