Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter—
Government plans to construct 17 new schools throughout the country next year under the Opec Fund for International Development (OFID), Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Dr Lazarus Dokora has said.

In a speech read on his behalf by director of primary education Mr Josphat Makandigona at a dinner to fundraise for the construction of a classroom block at Hurudza School in Kwekwe yesterday, Minister Dokora said they were looking forward to receiving the funds early next year.

“As Government, we have always been working on improving our school infrastructure and we have various initiatives to support that. One initiative is the construction of 17 schools, 12 primary and five secondary schools under the OFID, which is coming next year,” he said.

Minister Dokora said other partnerships included the construction of China funded schools, one of which was Lupane Primary School in Matabeleland North Province.

He said Government welcomed Maud Chifamba — the youngest graduate in Africa for the initiative to fundraise for the construction of her former school, Hurudza Primary School, which would complement Government’s efforts to improve school infrastructure.

“Government cannot do it alone. We appreciate what Maud and other private companies are doing to ensure education is available and accessible to all,” said Minister Dokora.

Minister Dokora commended Chifamba’s achievements, which started from humble beginnings in tobacco bans at Hurudza Primary School and now had become an international icon inspiring many.

Speaking at the same occasion, Standards Association of Zimbabwe director- general Dr Eve Gadzikwa, described Chifamba as a role model.

She said Chifamba proved that where one received their schooling did not matter much, but their commitment and determination to achieving what they wanted was most important.

She, however, applauded Chifamba for her success as a girl child, saying that society was still unfair for women such that they must work extra hard to succeed.

“We live in a patriarchal society where the girl child has to work very hard to achieve the level of success that they want,” said Dr Gadzikwa.

Speaking after the fundraising, Chifamba who took the opportunity to also celebrate her accomplishment of attaining an accounting degree from the University of Zimbabwe, acknowledged all the donations from the corporate sector and individuals who pledged various building materials towards the construction of Hurudza Primary School.

She said while donations were still welcome, available material could sustain a structure to cover Hurudza pupils from the rain.

“I really appreciate all the corporates and individuals who have made this fundraising dinner a success. We have not yet done the numbers but from the look of things what we have so far must be adequate to put up a structure,” said Chifamba.

Chifamba made headlines when she enrolled at the UZ at the age of 14 after successfully completing her secondary education in just two years.

Born on November 19, 1997 Chifamba attended Chiurayi Primary School in Gokwe before transferring to Conmara Primary School and then to Hurudza Primary School both in Midlands.

Chifamba completed her primary education in five years and her secondary education in two years.

At the age of 14, Maud enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe, faculty of commerce to pursue a degree in accounting.

She is now pursuing her Master’s degree in Accounting.

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