35 schools damaged as thunderstorms cause havoc in Matabeleland South Province


INFRASTRUCTURE in 35 schools in Matabeleland South Province has been damaged by rains.

Presenting a report during a Matabeleland South Provincial Drought Relief Committee meeting on Wednesday, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education representative, Mr Zwelani Dube, said most affected schools had classroom roofs blown off.

He said 30 secondary schools and five primary schools had been affected. The province has been experiencing rains which have been accompanied by violent winds, lightning and thunder leaving a trail of destruction in the area.

“The rains that have been experienced in the province have resulted in the destruction of infrastructure in several schools namely classroom blocks, teachers’ cottages and furniture. In Bulilima four primary schools were affected. At Ntambana Primary School where the roof of two classroom blocks was blown away, a cottage was damaged and desks were also damaged.

“At Tsukuru school four classroom blocks had roofs blown off, at Tjehanga school one block and one cottage was affected. At Ndolwane Primary School two classroom blocks were damaged, one has five classrooms and the other has three classrooms and one cottage was damaged,” he said.

Mr Dube said in Mangwe District eight primary schools had been affected, in Gwanda eight primary schools had been affected while in Beitbridge two primary and one secondary school had been affected.

He said in Insiza three primary and three secondary schools had been affected. In Matobo, three primary and one secondary school had been affected while in Umzingwane two primary schools had been affected.

In an interview, acting Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director, Mr Lifias Masukume, said they were still in the process of compiling a conclusive report on the damages as the problem kept recurring.

He appealed to various stakeholders to assist the Ministry in repairing the damaged infrastructure to ensure that lessons were not disrupted.

“We are in the rainy season and these disasters keep recurring. We are still in the process of compiling a report on the extent of damage and the number of affected institutions but the situation has a negative impact on the education system.

“These classrooms that were damaged are the ones that learners rely on and since some have been destroyed, they are now forced to seek shelter in the remaining classrooms or learn from outside which isn’t proper. We call on various partners to come in and assist us in repairing this infrastructure so that the learning process for pupils can go back to normal,” Mr Masukume said.

— Chronicle

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