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Mat South MP appeals for more schools

Matabeleland South Member of Parliament (MP), Sipho Mokone says there is need for more schools in Matabeleland South to lessen the burden on the few schools in the province. 

The former Matabeleland South provincial education director Tumisang Thabela who is now the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education was once quoted in the media saying the province needs 114 more schools. 

Debating during Parliament recently, MP Mokone argued that there is a serious shortage of schools in the province. 

“The number of Primary and Secondary schools in Matabeleland South does match the number of wards that are found in that province,” she said. 

“As I alluded to earlier on, Matabeleland South has 168 wards, but if you go on the ground you will discover that there is only one school serving four wards. That is not fair, it means that the children have to walk long distances in search of education which is a constitutional right.”

Mokone said the Covid-19 outbreak will worsen the situation since schools are now required to reduce the teacher –pupil ratio. 

“Having said that, due to Covid-19 the Ministry of Education has actually revised the teacher-pupil ratio in schools, meaning to say that the classes that had 60 pupils are going to be broken into two. That is very key in the sense that we need more schools in Matabeleland South both primary and secondary schools,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Mokone urged the government to pay teachers a decent salary so that they can execute their duties wholeheartedly. 

Teachers have not been going to school since the re-opening of the schools for examination classes citing incapacitation. 

“It is high time that the Government actually acts upon the welfare of the teachers because they will keep on losing resourceful teachers. Right now, teachers have resorted to gold panning. In almost all the mines in Matabeleland South, you will discover that there are teachers and children. Surely is that a normal set up in a country, we cannot have a country like that. It is high time the government looked at the plight of teachers,” she said. 

“Education has become a preserve for the elite. The kids who go to school are those whose parents can afford to pay the incentives to the teachers. What about those whose parents cannot afford an extra fee? Are we now saying that because of the situation in the education sector we are now creating a disparity between the rich and the poor, what about the constitutional rights of education to our children.”

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