|Teachers' accommodation at Masangula Primary School|
MWENEZI – Some five teachers at Masangula Primary School in Mwenezi East are sharing a dilapidated farm house in which dipping chemicals for the nearby community dip tank are kept, TellZim News has learnt.
The six-roomed ramshackle and other structures were left behind by a white farmer who was evicted during the Land Reform programme.
Since the school does not have any single classroom block for the over 300 pupils who are currently enrolled there, the small teachers’ rooms are also used as storage facilities for textbooks and all other learning materials.
With a total of seven teaching staff, two more teachers also share a single room at a makeshift shelter that the school built.
This makes the two structures including the decrepit farm house the only available accommodation for the entire school.
Teacher-in-Charge (TIC) Gideon Machigere could not be reached over his phone but TellZim News is informed that conditions at the school, which opened its doors in 2013, are more than terrible.
Teachers are using some rooms that the former farmer used as storage facility for farm implements and dipping chemicals as their bedrooms and kitchens.
“Materials used during teaching are also stored in the same rooms where teachers sleep. There are no signs that the situation will improve any time soon. Pupils conduct lessons under trees and during the rainy season, they rarely attend classes,” said a source.
Mwenezi Acting District Schools Inspector (DSI) Philip Gumbo could only say the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was aware that much needed to be done for satellite schools.
“The district has some satellite schools that are making some improvements but a lot of them still need a lot of attention with regards to teachers’ accommodation and learning facilities for pupils. Those are two most critical areas that need to be urgently addressed at satellite schools,” said Gumbo.
When contacted for comment, Councilor Takura Mudavose said all stakeholders needed to urgently pull together in ensuring that proper learning structures are put in place.
"Pupils have been learning in the open for too long and there is also no good accommodation for teachers. In the rainy season, pupils rarely attend lessons.
"We will be mobilising locals so that at least we start the process of molding bricks, taking into consideration the national Covid-19 lockdown. We want to make sure that by the time the school opens, we would have done something tangible," said Mudavose.
Mwenezi East legislator, Joosbi Omar said he will also be working to mobilise resources for the promary school.
"The welfare of teachers and pupils at Masangula Primary School is not pleasing at all. Teachers' accommodation is bad. Of late, our focus had been on Masangula Secondary School where we donated some cement and benches. Given that the secondary school is now in a better state, our focus is now on the primary school," said Omar.
The dilapidated structures which are being used as teacher's rooms at Masangula Primary School were left behind by a farmer who was evicted during the Land Reform Programme. The structures were then used as storage facility for farm implements and dipping chemicals.
The entire district has a total of 172 schools, 102 of which are such deplorable satellite schools as Turf, Bubi, Nyuni, Vezvi and Dembe.