The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is working on a project to build more schools in Cowdray Park, as the available schools cannot meet the demand.
Cowdray Park suburb is the largest in Bulawayo with over 33 000 housing stands.
Acting councillor for Ward 28 Cllr Febbie Msipha said the local authority will meet with residents on Thursday where they expect residents to suggest sites where they would want the council to put up schools in the area.
Ward 28 has two schools – a primary and secondary school – which are still under construction for the past four years.
“We understand Ward 28 is still developing and is in need of schools. There are still some schools that haven’t been finished and hence we expect to hear from the residents the assistance they seek as far as they are concerned,” said Cllr Msipha.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association acting co-ordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu told CITE in an interview that Cowdray Park is in serious need of schools and the government needs to speedily fund their ongoing school projects in the area.
“It is commendable that the city council comes in and works towards availing land for schools. The two existing schools that are still ongoing projects for the past few years are government funded projects. The situation at the primary school is very dire,” said Ndlovu.
“Some classes at Cowdray Park Primary school are conducted in the toilets as means of sheltering from harsh weather conditions. It is a very heartbreaking sight. The arrangement at the school is children take classes from grade 1 to 3 and migrate to another school for grade 4 and 5. At grade 6 they come back and migrate again for grade 7 because of the unfavorable learning conditions,” he said.
Ndlovu said the unfinished structures at the school are a challenge especially during the winter season where the children will be freezing while learning due to lack of shelter.
“We have tried to engage the UNICEF and the Ambassador for Germany to Zimbabwe but the problem we faced is they said their primary concern is for schools in rural areas.
“We therefore implore the government to finish these projects as their staggering negatively affects school going children. We also urge the city council to at least push the government to avail funds as it represents the government at a local level,” said Ndlovu.