Deal to build 2 000 schools sealed Minister Evelyn Ndlovu

Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter

A private company intending to build 2 060 schools across the country to complement the Government target of 3 000 new schools by 2025 has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and is already mobilising funds for the construction, Minister Evelyn Ndlovu said yesterday.

Briefing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education on the state of the education sector yesterday, Minister Ndlovu said the agreement was signed between her ministry and Tech Brands after Cabinet approved the construction of 3 000 new schools by 2025 because of the phenomenal increase in learner enrolment resulting in the need for many more schools.

“There’s a private player who signed an agreement during the tenure of the previous minister in 2021 and this private player has promised to build at least 2 060 schools and these schools would be donated to Government.

“So we are moving fast. We are supposed to work with partners to come up with that infrastructure in five years,” she said. 

Currently, there are 9 778 public schools, 6 798 primary and 2 980 secondary, catering for over 4,9 million pupils.

On its part, Government would this year build 35 schools, a downward revision from the targeted 50 due to resource constraints.

She said the sites for the schools had been identified while designs were done by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.

Councils are also using devolution funds to add to the total and Minister Ndlovu added that it was important that part of the money distributed under the devolution funds and Constituency Development Fund go towards construction of schools.

Of the 35 schools, 16 are primary schools while 19 are secondary schools.

Government policy is to ensure that no child walks more than 5km to school and during implementation of the expansion, more secondary than primary boarding schools will be constructed in an endeavour to satisfy increased demand. 

Some existing day schools will be converted into boarding schools, while some low-cost boarding facilities will be constructed at existing schools as the need arises.

One primary and one secondary boarding school with adequate state of the art facilities will be constructed in each of the 72 districts of the country.

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