Another classroom block for Phakama School Classroom block under construction at Phakama Primary School in Gwanda

Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, [email protected]

A SECOND classroom block is under construction at Phakama Primary School in Gwanda, a development which is set to ease congestion in schools in the mining town.

At the moment one classroom block, which is under construction is set to ease congestion in the schools, which also accommodates ECD classes.

 The school will help to ease congestion at Senondo and Jahunda Primary School whose enrolment has tripled over the years.

In an interview, Gwanda mayor, Clr Thulani Moyo said constructing more classroom blocks is one of their major targets under the devolution programme.

“For the 2023 devolution allocation, we are focusing on the construction of Phakama Primary since our schools are overcrowded. We have Jahunda Primary which is sitting at 2 700 pupils and Senondo Primary which is sitting at 1 500 compared to the expected enrolment of about 800,” he said.

“Last year we dedicated some funds under the devolution programme towards constructing a classroom block that is accommodating ECD learners and ablution facilities. We are now working on the second classroom block.”

Clr Moyo said under infrastructure development, the council through the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) funds is working on some roads whose maintenance was long overdue. The construction of Phakama Primary School in the Garakai/Hlalani Kuhle area has brought relief to residents.

In 2020, residents decided to spearhead the construction of the school by mobilising resources.

The residents from the ward contributed US$1 each towards buying building material which was used to construct a slab for the classroom block. 

Gwanda Municipality later came in and used devolution funds towards constructing the classroom block and purchasing furniture.

The school is an annexure of Jahunda Primary School. Clr Moyo said one of their targets under the five-year strategic plan is the construction of new schools to reduce the teacher-pupil ratio.

Mr Boniface Tshuma of Garikai/ Hlalani Kuhle said they were looking forward to seeing more schools being constructed.

“We thank the authorities for making this project a priority as we see another classroom block being constructed which shows that the project is moving forward. 

“We hope that soon the school will have classroom blocks to accommodate all grades as some of our children are still walking long distances to other schools,” he said.

With social amenities and infrastructure development being some of the major pillars of the National Development Strategy (NDS1), local authorities have used devolution funds to augment efforts by communities and other stakeholders through ensuring that projects are completed timeously.

Devolution funds are assisting local authorities fulfil their obligation across the country through development of key infrastructure such as clinics, classroom blocks, roads, bridges among other facilities.

Devolution funds have transformed several districts in the Matabeleland region as the Second Republic steps up the inclusive developmental philosophy of leaving no one and no place behind.

The devolution programme is one of the key pillars under the NDS1. The overarching goal of the NDS1 is to ensure high, accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as socio-economic transformation and development as the country moves towards an upper middle-income society by 2030. — @DubeMatutu

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