Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
GOVERNMENT has urged schools to come up with commercial programmes to help address some of their financial needs and prepare pupils to become entrepreneurs.
Some schools in the country are making personal protective equipment (PPE) following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Ambassador Cain Mathema who was in Gweru for a meeting on the state of preparedness in reopening schools this week, said schools must not rely on Government grants only for development projects.
He commended those who have started some income generating projects.
“It’s about time we start proper planning for our future. Each school must go commercial. We need to come up with quality products that can be accepted by the market. There should be no compromise on this.
I’m happy that the Midlands Province can now produce enough PPEs from its schools. My vision is to see schools contributing to the national gross domestic product (GDP),” he said.
The minister said most schools have enough land on which money-making ventures must be implemented to benefit the schools and communities.
Ambassador Mathema said once schools go commercial, they will also employ locals.
He said gone are the days when schools solely depended on Government for funds to run the institutions.
“Our schools have the land and it is unfortunate that most of them are not using this land. It is just lying idle when there is great potential to make money from farming, poultry for example.
“We need a paradigm shift because my ministry can’t be running to the Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube for funds to run the schools,” said Ambassador Mathema.
He said the new education curriculum is aimed at churning out people who can be entrepreneurs and not job seekers only.
“The schools must start making money and show the pupils how to make money. They must start enjoying money while in school and when they go out, they become entrepreneurs. We have few schools now producing sanitary wear which is commendable because there is no sense in having a Fashion and Fabrics subject when we fail to produce our own school uniforms. Kutama High School is producing sanitary wear and in so doing can employ locals and we can go as far as exporting,” said Ambassador Mathema.