Farirai Machivenyika and Conrad Mupesa
The Catholic Church is building new secondary and primary schools in Chinhoyi, leading Vice President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday to commend the church for supporting Government’s policy of affordable education.
He was a guest of honour at the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Primary and Secondary Schools in Chinhoyi yesterday. The schools are being constructed by the Roman Catholic Church’s Diocese of Chinhoyi at an estimated cost of $2,5 million.
The occasion coincided with the launch of the Diocese’s website.
Chinhoyi Diocese runs 12 primary and seven secondary schools.
Said VP Chiwenga: “In constructing the primary and secondary schools, you are contributing immensely towards human resources capacity development. You have not been found wanting in your unwavering support of the Government’s quest to avail affordable education to every child in Zimbabwe. At independence in 1980, education was declared a basic human right and an extensive schools building programme began.
“Because of such a huge investment, we speak of Zimbabwe having one of the highest literacy rates in Africa standing at above 88 percent.”
VP Chiwenga said the provision of quality education was key in the attainment of a middle income economy by 2030.
“Our goal is 100 percent literacy levels, which we will certainly achieve, through the dedication and commitment of parents, staff and pupils willing to advance along the road of knowledge and education,” he said.
The Vice President said the schools to be constructed by the Catholic church will change the lives of the Chinhoyi community.
“It is factual that education opens new doors and can change the destiny of many people. This is why we are celebrating today, the beginning of a journey which will lead to new schools and fresh opportunities for many children in Chinhoyi and surrounding communities.
“It is my submission that the envisaged Our Lady of Perpetual Help Primary and Secondary Schools should mirror an ideal home, in which there is compassion, hard work, focus, discipline and above all, a spirit of care and encouragement,” said VP Chiwenga.
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) pledged to provide artisans for the construction of the schools following a request by the Diocese. The written commitment was presented to Bishop of Chinhoyi the Rt Rev Raymond Mupandasekwa by Major General Paul Chima, who was standing in for ZDF Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda.
In his remarks, Bishop Mupandasekwa said the schools would produce exemplary students.
“You will give us toddlers and we will teach them how to walk, how to talk as well, mannered good human beings should. “You will give us children and we will give you back young women and men of character, who will in their adult lives turn out to be real ladies and gentlemen,” he said.
Bishop Mupandasekwa said the institutions would cater for every pupil irrespective of denomination.
The event was also attended by Minister of State for Mashonaland West, Mary Mliswa and Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Edgar Moyo.
VP Chiwenga planted a tree during the ceremony.