Tsholotsho’s community  school project progresses A classroom block under construction at Mbalibali Secondary School in Tsholotsho

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, [email protected]

PROGRESS is being recorded at Mbalibali area in Tsholotsho South where the local community is building a secondary school with assistance from diasporans.

The villagers mobilised themselves and managed to raise funds, which have resulted in one of the teachers’ cottages being finished while a classroom block with two classrooms is at roofing level.

The construction materials were sourced using proceeds from fundraising initiatives by the locals, diasporans mainly from South Africa as well as support from constituency legislator, Cde Musa Ncube, who donated 100 bags of cement.

Cde Musa Ncube

At the moment learners at the school are sharing classes with primary school counterparts at Mbalibali Primary School while some are travelling more than 10km to the nearest Bhubhude Secondary School.

Due to long distance, some pupils have dropped out of school while girls have prematurely fallen pregnancy.

In an interview, Dingindawo village head, Mr Elijah Vundla said commitment and unity has enabled the community to push the project as they believe in the Second Republic mantra: “ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo/nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”. He paid tribute to villagers and the diaspora community members for their commitment and zeal towards the project.

“Our children are walking long distances to the nearest secondary school while others are forced to drop out and this has contributed to the lack of adequate development.,” said Mr Vundla.

“We are happy that we are almost there.”

He appealed to more members of the diaspora from Tsholotsho and the donor community to chip in with whatever assistance they may render as they now want to start construction of the second block.

“We are determined and the spirit is there but our resources are dwindling. Our children in South Africa have really tried their best so we would appreciate any help that will complement what has already been done,” said Mr Vundla.

One of the villagers, Ms Sithabisile Phiri, who is also representing the diasporan community involved in the project said they expected the school to be fully operational by January next year.

“It hasn’t been easy but our dream is slowly becoming reality and this is attributed to oneness as villagers here and our children in the diaspora. 

“We have had a number of school dropouts while girls get pregnant because of not having a secondary school in our area.” 

Ward 17 councilor, Church Ncube, said no nation can develop without an educated citizenry. Cllr Ncube said he would do everything in his power to ensure enough assistance was given to the school towards the full completion of its construction.

“I come from this area, I am a villager who has been actively in the construction of this school and I feel so excited that our children will now be learning from here. Work is not over yet but we are getting there,” said Cllr Ncube.

The construction of the school was mooted in 2014 but no construction was done until last year when the community mobilised resources for its construction.

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