Globe and Phoenix Primary School teachers, learners safety poser Herbert Maziriri

Michael Magoronga, [email protected]

AUTHORITIES in Kwekwe District are racing against time to ensure the safety of teachers and over 1 300 learners at Globe and Phoenix Primary School ahead of the fast-approaching rainy season.

The school is presently operating under tents at Sally Mugabe Primary School grounds after a classroom block collapsed into a tunnel that illegal miners had dug under the school early this year.

After the disaster, the Civil Protection Unit Department (CPU) provided tents for the learners.

During a district CPU meeting, Kwekwe District Schools Inspector, Mr Herbert Maziriri said things were bad at the school with the tents being intermittently blown off by winds.

“In the last days, we witnessed a change in weather patterns and some tents were blown away by strong winds temporarily disrupting lessons. This will actually be worse given that we are approaching the rainy season,” he said.

“The ground on which the tents are pitched is bound to flood and if it happens, we will be putting teachers and learners at risk.”

Mr Maziriri said the situation is even worse for the Grade 7 learners who are preparing for their final examinations later this month.

“We need to come up with a feasible plan to ensure that our children are safe. We have about 160 Grade 7 candidates who are supposed to sit for their examinations from 25 September, and as it is, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education does not allow examinations to be conducted from tents,” he said.

“We are looking for a venue where these children can write their examinations. We are looking at two possible options either to liaise with Sally Mugabe Primary to either use their seven classes for examination purposes or make use of a hired hall.”

Following the disaster, Kuvimba Mining House gave the school a piece of land for the construction of a new school.

Kwekwe District Development Co-ordinator Mr Fortune Mpungu said most modalities were in place for the construction of the school.

“All the surveys have been conducted and we are only waiting for an offer letter for the land on which we are supposed to construct the new school. Given the situation, we might need to relocate the tents to the new site where there is a better ground,” he said.

Mr Mpungu said the school has since been given the green light to charge US$20 building levy per child towards the construction of the new school.

“The plan is to construct ablution facilities and also put concrete slabs for the tents so that the learners can start learning at a safer place”,he said.

A fundraising committee chaired by Kwekwe City Council was also formed during the meeting to ensure more funds are mobilised for the construction of the school.

The Kwekwe business community also pledged to help fund the project.

“Once we get the offer letter, it can assist us a great deal and we can even use it to access a loan facility,” said Mr Mpungu.

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