Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent—
The Japanese Embassy yesterday handed over four new furnished classroom blocks at Govera Primary School in Goromonzi District. The refurbishment of the school was made possible by an $83 125 grant provided by the Government of Japan under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects. The grant was extended to a local non-governmental organisation partner, Nhaka Foundation, in March this year for the implementation of the “Project for Improvement of the Educational Environment at Govera Primary School in Goromonzi District”.
Previously pupils at the school were attending classes in dilapidated and unsafe buildings.
They also used to write on the floor or on their laps due to lack of furniture.
Speaking during the official handover ceremony held at the school yesterday, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Japan Mr Dabide Tsunakake said children’s school years were precious hence it was important for them to spend these in a safe and conducive educational environment.
“A Japanese proverb says, ‘Youthful years pass quickly before one accomplishes much learning. There isn’t a moment to be wasted. Time flies like an arrow’. So children, your school years are very precious.
“Now that you have new furnished classrooms providing a safe and comfortable environment, it is your turn from now on. You must study harder and harder in these classrooms,” he said.
Mr Tsunakake also commended the good work done by all stakeholders involved in the refurbishment of the school.
“I would like to especially congratulate you, children and teachers, as you can now have your lessons in a safe and comfortable environment without fearing for your lives in case the roof or walls might collapse on you.
“Secondly, I would like to commend the staff of Nhaka Foundation, the community members and everyone involved for your hard work in completing this project in a timely and thorough manner. This meant that the children could quickly gain access to the new classrooms,” he said.
Officially opening the school, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora, represented by the acting deputy director communications in the ministry, Mr Patrick Zumbo said his ministry appreciated efforts by their partners in supporting the provision of quality education in the country.
“Our Zimbabwe economic blueprint Zim-Asset emphasises the building and rehabilitation of infrastructure for economic growth and prosperity of the nation large.
“Here at Govera Primary School you have just demonstrated that. I was made to understand that after a violent wind had blown away the roofs of classrooms, toilets and teachers’ houses both the council and ministry inspectors condemned the whole school as unsafe and a death trap to the learners.
“The community demolished the buildings to the ground level. Surely, the buildings had outlived their usefulness since the school was established close to a hundred years ago. The newly constructed classrooms should now usher in a new era of quality education,” he said.
The school head, Mrs Maud Chonzi, said she was happy that the school was never going to be the same again after it was refurbished.
“I hope and believe that urban and rural schools are mere mindsets. Our vision here is to make this school a model school in the province if not the whole country. Together with the community and our partners, we can do it,” she said.
She also said she was happy that efforts to electrify the school and provide tap water were now at an advanced stage.