|Turf Primary School|
Primary School, which is located in Ward 15 Mwenezi West, now has its first
classroom block after 17 years, thanks to an intervention by the United Nations
Children Emergency Fund (Unicef).
The satellite school
began offering classes in the open back in 2003 at the height of the Land
Reform Programme and has constantly registered zero percent pass rate in grade
Many pupils had been
sitting on the ground under makeshift structures built of wooden poles and
dagga with thatched roofs while several others conducted lessons under trees.
TellZim first reported
about the dire state of affairs at the school on February 10 this year, much to
the embarrassment of provincial education authorities, and to the dismay of
children’s rights groups.
The community then
mobilised itself and began molding bricks that are being used to construct a
single block with two classrooms.
Turf Primary School
Teacher-in-Charge (TIC) Benard Chauke confirmed the developments in a phone
interview with TellZim.
mobilised themselves to build the classroom block which is now nearing
completion at roof level. This is a milestone for us because we had not expected
it. The development shows what can be achieved if ordinary community members
work together,” said Chauke.
He also said the school
still faced many infrastructural deficits as the block will not be enough to
accommodate all pupils.
He said some new pieces
of furniture were bought by money availed through the Ministry of Primary and
Secondary Education by Unicef under its School Improvement Grant (Sig) programme.
“We have been the
receiving money under the programme for some years and this time we used our
share to buy 42 chairs and 43 desks that will be used in the new classroom
block,” said Chauke.
Mwenezi Ward 25 Cllr
Samuel Kwinika praised the local community for coming together in the name of
development, but called for more assistance from those capable of intervening.
“The level of
commitment displayed by locals towards this project is awesome. We are also
grateful for the funds donated by Unicef,” said Kwinika.
The school has only
five teachers for its 385 pupils with shortage of facilities meaning that many
classes are combined. Mwenezi has 102 satellite schools that are
poorly-equipped and severely understaffed.
The original story that
TellZim wrote on Turf primary School can be accessed on;