By Br. Alfonce Kugwa
Chief Hama, Joseph Zishiri has appealed government and well-wishers to support rural schools through provision of information communication technology material to help rural children grasp the concepts of the new curriculum. He was speaking at a fun-run organised by the Catholic Professionals Network of Zimbabwe (CPNZ) at Mavhaire Primary School in Chirumanzu on 30 March 2019.
Chief Hama emphasized the need for information technology in schools under his territory where such infrastructure as computers is not known to many children. He called on government and other well wishers to support rural schools by donating computers so that rural children are not left out in information technology and that the new curriculum can yield better results and benefit all children.
“Most rural schools especially primary schools under my territory do not have computers even for teachers and it is very difficult to implement the new curriculum without such infrastructure. I am very much concerned about this because children in schools under my area such as Mavhaire, Chinyuni, Mashamba, Chizvinire, Shashe and Maware do not have an idea about what a computer looks like. The only school with computers is Hama High School which is a mission school. This affects the learning process of children especially under the government introduced new curriculum and STEM. I therefore call upon government and well-wishers like the Catholic Professionals Network of Zimbabwe to support us. Help us have computers please,” Chief Hama said.
Chief Hama reiterated that the absence of information technology in rural schools alienates rural children and creates disparities between them and their urban counterparts who are advanced in the use of computers. He added that the absence of computers makes teaching the new curriculum difficult as teachers need such technological infrastructure to be able to impart the knowledge.
The headmaster for Mavhaire Primary School Kelvin Gwazira said the school was lagging behind in the implementation of the new curriculum due to lack of computers. Gwazira said the absence of electricity or solar energy was a challenge in implementing the new curriculum and called for support to transform education at the school. Mavhaire Primary School like other schools in the area does not have enough educational facilities and this is compounded by the erratic payment of fees due to economic hardships affecting the parents.
The CPNZ organised fun-run attracted people of all age groups from surrounding schools and communities who participated in the 500m to 10-kilometre race. Those who won the race walked away with different prizes including school fees, ball point pens and books for children, fertilizers, cash and wheel barrows for adults and schools.
The 72-year-old Sylvia Zvenyika astounded many participants when she was announced winner for completing the race in the 31 years and above category and walked away with her cash prize of $20.00.
CPNZ members engaged children in career guidance in different areas such as law, agriculture, social work, media, engineering, business management, legal affairs, medicine and entrepreneurship while adults received free counselling, medical observation and treatment and HIV/Aids testing. Lessons on Gender Based Violence, maintenance and inheritance laws and child protection were also availed.
The event was attended by heads of different schools under Chief Hama’s area, Fr. Claudio Ziumbwa the Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Hama Mission, Fr. Francis Mukozho, the National Pastoral Coordinator, Fr. Mgcini Moyo, Chief Hama and a group of CPNZ members. The fun-run was part of CPNZ’s engagement with communities.