Conrad Mupesa Correspondent
At least 20 elderly people, including a 53-year-old woman in Mhangura, are now able to read and write after enrolling for non-formal education at Mhangura Primary School.
In separate interviews, the elderly pupils welcomed the move by Government to provide them with an opportunity to receive education even at an advanced age. The 53-year-old Grade 1 pupil, Mrs Letty Mhora, said the programme had so far enabled her to read and write. She is looking forward to sitting for her Grade 7 examinations in 2022.
“My teachers are Madam Kauta and Madam Mudziviri. They are doing a wonderful job as I can now read and write, which I could not do when I enrolled at the beginning of the year,” she said.
Mrs Mhora implored parents and children to value education.
“I urge parents who are failing to pay for their children’s fees and other children absconding from schools to take education seriously because it is the key to a better life,” she said.
Another elderly women, Mrs Awanji Goke, said her father failed to send her to school.
“I failed to go to school at the right age because my father neglected our welfare after the death of our mother, so this has come as a golden opportunity to catch up on what I failed to do decades ago,” she said.
The elderly learners have to juggle between school and taking care of their children and grandchildren.
“Currently, we are failing to raise money for fees and uniforms,” said 40-year-old Grade 3 pupil Mrs Shupikai Tazvivinga.
“The main reason for this is that there is no industry around here that can employ our husbands or children, so we struggle to balance our needs and those of our children, but we will soldier on.”
The learners appealed for financial assistance to enable them to complete their studies. Others said they needed birth certificates, which will enable them to sit for national examinations.
A teacher at Mhangura Mine Primary School told The Herald that the school had 14 non-formal Grade 1 pupils and seven Grade 3 pupils, who enrolled at the beginning of the year, and are all elderly.