GOKWE: Gokwe’s Budiriro Primary School construction which was initially a community initiative before government took over after realizing the community’s passion and determination towards bringing development to their often-mocked community, is now ready for commissioning.
Located some 170km North of Gokwe Centre, one might be forgiven to think that they are entering the gates of a privately owned school.
The journey to constructing the school was not easy, recounts members of the community.
“Our children used to walk of 15 kilometers to the nearest school which translated to 30 in a single day. This weighed in heavily on their general performance in class,” a community member said.
“This place used to be a conservancy. There are animals in the bush and every time we were holding our breaths praying that our kids come back from school alive. Now we are very happy by this.
“We also have female children who could fall prey to some rapists along the way. Now that’s a thing of the past. However, we are appealing to authorities for the construction of a secondary school since we now have a primary school nearby,” added another community member, Tamisai Chimhashu.
The school’s deputy headmaster, Tizai Fambeki also gave CommuTalk a brief background of how the school came to be.
“We started this school in 2011 as a satellite school for Mashame primary school. This means we were not allowed to sit for examinations. We had shades made by parents where children would attend class from.
“It was in 2014 that we constructed our first classroom block with the help of the local MP through constituency development fund. The government then took over in 2016 with proper construction starting in 2017. By 2020 we had the whole project done with the construction of the infant school and semi-detached houses for teachers,” Fambeki narrated.
During a visit to the school, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring, Implementation and Government Programs Joram Gumbo said government says it will continue to come up with more developmental projects in marginalized communities in order to fulfill dictates of the National Development Strategy one.
“President Mnangagwa’s administration has made it clear that there is need to broaden access to education in rural and urban areas. Rehabilitation in schools is part of this vision. Our thrust is to give these children a good foundation through having access to facilities that connect them to the world. We will not rest until all communities get access to such critical facilities,” said Gumbo.
Budiriro Primary school is one of the 17 schools that have been earmarked for modern schools projects by government in conjunction with OPEC Fund for International Development with a view to meet the requirements of the new curriculum in rural communities.