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Education ministry nudges private investors to close staggering 3 000 schools gap 

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By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent 


MINISTER of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE), Torerai Moyo says there is a shortage of 3 000 schools in the country and challenged private investors to construct learning centres inorder to ease the deficit.

Government alone, he said, cannot close the schools gap, hence the need for players with free funds to build infrastructure across all provinces.

Addressing delegates during the official opening ceremony of Matanah Christian College in Chinhoyi last Thursday, Moyo, who was represented by Director of Secondary in the MoPSE Patrick Ngandini, said investment into education helps ameliorate the burden on government to provide social services.

Director Secondary Patrick Ngandini who represented Minister Moyo

“I want to start by expressing my sincere appreciation for the honour l have been given to officiate at the occasion of the official opening of Matanah Christian College…may this day inspire more initiatives to improve the process of teaching and learning.

“It is very heartening to see private partners contributing to the education of this young generation. I am touched by the commitment of the Matumbike family to the cause of the community,” said Moyo.

“As government, we greatly appreciate the investment that was made in the infrastructure development of this institution. We also applaud the owners of the college for choosing to put their money into the development of the educational facility rather than other viable economic projects.

“We thank Mr and Mrs Matumbike and the team that helps you in investment planning.

“Government’s goal, ladies and gentlemen, is to ensure that all Zimbabweans yearning for primary and secondary education are afforded the opportunity to receive the kind of quality education they deserve.”

The minister highlighted the need for collaboration between government and private investors to avail more learning centres and called on unregistered colleges to regularise their operations.

“As you are aware, government alone cannot meet the needs of the nation given the budgetary constraints. For instance, the information at hand is that we have a shortage of close to 3 000 schools.

“Investments by partners like Matanah take some burden off government. This is why we call upon all those who are operating illegally to register their institutions and take their place among nation builders.”

Moyo said he was impressed by the exhibitions mounted by students displaying various innovations, a testament Matanah Christian College was on course to implement the heritage-based curriculum framework.

“This framework is aligned to the national vision of Zimbabwe of becoming an empowered and prosperous upper middle-income society by 2030 and driven by the National Development Strategy 1 and 2.

“Through heritage-based studies, it is possible for learners to acquire valuable skills while at the same time monetise the skills before completing Ordinary Level, and can use those skills at any exit level,” he added.

To underline its commitment to vocationalisation, in line with the new curriculum thrust, Matanah Christian College Finance Director, Simbarashe Matumbike, handed over a gift of a welding machine to Moyo.

During the official opening ceremony, Zimbabwe Independent Colleges Association (ZICA) president Tapera Chikandiwa presented the first ever in the country, the inaugural Gold Class Award to Matanah for its state-of-the-art infrastructure, ambience and positive growth trajectory.

The state-of-the-art infrastructure at Matanah which earned it the Gold Class Award

“We are so impressed about the solid infrastructure and hereby decided to officially present the Gold Class for the first time in Zimbabwe to Matanah in recognition of exemplary commitment to academic excellence, promotion of spiritual growth, dedicated community service and sacrificial contribution to national development, especially as we victoriously march towards Vision 2030.

“Your dedication to providing a holistic education which nurtures body, mind and spirit is truly commendable. Your students’ achievements, character and compassion are testament to the outstanding work of your faculty, staff and leadership,” said Chikandiwa in his award citation.

In 2000, the Matumbikes opened the college to serve the local community motivated by the need to alleviate the shortage of secondary schools in the town, which has a ballooning population.

The first cohort of learners enrolled at inception at the height of the deadly Covid-19 era is now set to sit for its Ordinary Level in November.

Matanah Christian College has grown in leaps and bounds, now boasting an enrolment over 350 high school learners pursuing different specialties, including sciences, humanities and commercials.