THE Japanese government has extended a $90 000 grant for construction of classroom blocks and teachers’ houses at Nakapande Secondary School in Binga, Matabeleland North province, as part of efforts to improve the region’s educational infrastructure.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Japan Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Yoshi Tendai Hiraishi, last week told Southern Eye the project was triggered by reports that pupils and teachers were using sub-standard structures, mostly made up of pole and dagga.
“Pupils are currently attending lessons in either an incomplete classroom block or deplorable pole and dagga structures which is totally unacceptable as learning environment,” Hiraishi said.
“This has impacted negatively on performance leading to poor results and a high number of drop-outs and transfers. Pupils are being denied their basic human right to a decent education.”
Binga is one of the poorest and under-developed districts in the country. Most areas in Binga have no schools, clinics, dams, roads and bridges.
Some children walk up to 10km to the nearest school.
Hiraishi added: “Furthermore, most of the teachers have to live in tiny mud huts due to lack of appropriate accommodation. Because of such severe living conditions, the school has been failing to attract qualified teachers, which is leading to poor quality education.”
Non-governmental organisation, Christian Youth Volunteers Association Trust has been chosen to co-ordinate the construction projects at the school.
“As experiences from my own country as well as other countries amply show, education is a prerequisite not only for national economic development, but also for personal growth and well-being.
“For this reason, we place great emphasis on the promotion of the right to a decent education, particularly secondary education, as the physical need for secondary education has not been sufficiently addressed through the country,” Hiraishi noted.
Government has since appealed for aid to build more schools, and to refurbish current existing one ones.
The Japanese embassy in Harare has contributed large sums of money towards refurbishing several schools in Matabeleland region over the past few months.