Adventists work on education provision in Nkayi

The Chronicle

Mkhululi Ncube, Chronicle Reporter

The Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) has started building a primary school in Nkayi District, Matabeleland North Province to partner the Government in the provision of education and reducing the country’s school backlog.

Construction of Great Hope Adventist Primary School started on Sunday a fortnight ago at Nkayi Centre. 

In what has to be a record, the church completed a classroom block, with two classrooms and two store rooms, in four days and is gunning to finish the second block before the end of this week.

Under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education`s Education Sector’s Strategic Plan (ESSP) 2021-2025 the ministry has a target to build more than 5 000 schools.

The building of the school dovetails with the Second Republic’s drive for public private partnerships (PPPs) for massive infrastructural development envisaged to transform the country into an upper-middle income economy by 2030.

In a speech read on his behalf by Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Cde Richard Moyo, at the inaugural Infrastructure Summit and Expo last week, President Mnangagwa said the Government infrastructure investment projects have started impacting positively on community livelihoods and are transforming the doing business environment.

As beneficiaries of infrastructure investments, he said the private sector must play an active role in transforming the economy through working closely with the Government. The SDA mobilised 56 builders who are camped at the school site to finish the blocks to enable learners who have been using the church premises at Nkayi Centre to move in.

SDA West Zimbabwe Conference education director, Dr Christopher Thebe said the idea to build the school at Nkayi Centre was born some years ago and the vision is coming into fruition after the church got land. 

“The idea of setting up the school started long back and last year we made our application to the authorities which was approved. The community supported the idea very much, which resulted in us starting enrolment in January this year with ECD A and B, Grade One and Grade Two.

“In collaboration with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the school started operating from our local church premises at Nkayi Centre. We received help with resources from our higher office the Zimbabwe West Union Conference to start building the school. We intend to have a fully-fledged school that can accommodate pupils from ECD to Grade Seven,” said Dr Thebe.

He said the conference has 15 secondary and 22 primary schools as it has a strong emphasis on education and will continue to build more.

He said the church education curriculum thrust is to educate the head, hands and heart with a focus to build well-rounded pupils who will contribute to the good of society as dictated by the new Education 5.0 curriculum.

Zimbabwe West Conference Union (ZWCU) Stewardship and project director for the new school construction, Dr Jefrety Sibanda said the church adopted the strategy to pool both financial and human resources when constructing some of its major projects.

Dr Sibanda said the first block was built at a cost of US$45 000 and took just four days to complete.

“We did the same in Mberengwa last year with Rufura Primary School, we started on a block on a Sunday and by Friday were done. In Nkayi, we have a team of 56 builders who started work on Sunday morning and by Wednesday we had roofed the block. We are just waiting for the plaster to dry before we paint it. We are then moving to the second block and with material permitting by Monday we will have finished it as well,” he said.

Dr Sibanda appealed for partnerships from both church and non-church members as well as well-wishers as more blocks are needed to enable all grades to be housed at the school.

He said some of the builders are non-church members who come from the community but offered to assist with their skills as their area was going to benefit from the school.

ZWUC Education Director Mrs Zibusiso Sibanda said the SDA church intended to build a number of schools throughout its territory to assist the Government in reducing the school backlog.

“As a church we are eager to build more world-class schools in our territory to address the issue of overcrowding and reduce long distances walked by learners to school. Our role is to partner the Government and implement all the requirements that Government expects in our schools in the inclusive education and reaching out to communities with the word of God. Resources permitting, we want to build this school into a world-class standard and we also expect that it will grow to secondary level,” she said.

Primary and Secondary Education Ministry’s spokesperson Mr Taungana Ndoro hailed the SDA Church for the development saying it will help address school challenges in the province.

“This is a good development as infrastructure development is one of our mandates as a ministry and it is good to get partners such as the SDA Church in helping us fulfil that mandate to enable us to provide quality education. There is a great need for schools in Matabeleland North Province and this development will help us in addressing that need,” said Mr Ndoro. – @themkhust.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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