COMMENT: Let’s make quality education accessible to all

The Chronicle

Except for a very few, parents generally want the best for their children.

They want them to have as comfortable an upbringing as they can give them.  They want them to eat well and healthy, wear the best outfits, have a good education, pass and get that big job.

That parents want the best for their children is the reason why, as we reported yesterday, we are witnessing a scramble for Form One places. Parents, guardians and their children and charges queued for long periods at some high schools in Bulawayo seeking to secure the places.

Mr Freddy Ndlovu of Mpopoma suburb is a normal parent.  He holds Mpopoma High School as the best in his area, so wants his son to enrol for Form One there.  Mr Senzo Moyo of  Mzilikazi is also a normal parent who wants his son to learn at St Columbus, in his view, the best school in his area.

“I will be really disappointed if he fails to get a place at this school because this is one of the best schools in my zone,” said Mr Ndlovu.

“We have been told to wait outside the gate so that in the event that some applicants fail to pay the required $35 000 deposit, we could then be considered.”

Said Mr Moyo: “My son got nine points so I thought getting a place here was not going to be a problem. I am really disappointed because they are saying they are full. In this zone, this is the only good school I prefer.”

That was the situation in Bulawayo since Grade Seven results were released late last week.  We are sure that represents a national situation, parents and guardians stampeding for Form One places at schools that they feel have potential to enable their children to get good grades at Ordinary and Advanced levels.

Mpopoma High School

The point is most people want their children to enrol at schools that promise good results and whose fees are affordable.  This is a challenge that faces authorities – to ensure that more schools of that type are built all over the country.

That is a challenge for churches as well, for them to build more schools in addition to the ones they already have. That applies to private investors as well.

They must identify this clear business opportunity; the proverbial low-hanging fruit which not only makes it possible for them to complement Government efforts in delivering quality education to the people but also enables them to make good money for themselves.

Parents have a challenge too.  They need to work closely with school authorities to produce good results at schools that are regarded as ordinary and have not yet started attracting as much public interest as Mpopoma, St Columbus, John Tallach, St Augustine’s, Pamushana and so on.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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