MARONDERA- The small farming town of Marondera requires more than 20 primary schools to adequately cater for the current demand.
Presently, the town has six primary schools that include council-run Ruware, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Nyameni, Tapfuma and Dombotombo and government-run Godfrey Huggins.
Each of those schools is meant to have a holding capacity of more than 500 pupils but investigations have revealed that most of them are now exceeding 1 500.
Municipality of Marondera Chairperson of the Housing and Community Services Committee Size Vilela said the town is in need of more primary schools, whose shortage is leading to the mushrooming of illegal Early Child Development (ECD) schools in most suburbs in the town.
It is believed that more than 3 000 pupils are accommodated at the illegal ECDs and their enrolment status is not in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education database.
“We are really in need of more primary schools in Marondera and we have been engaging some of our stakeholders to see hoe best we can address the challenge of shortage of primary schools. Ideally, Marondera urban needs 22 primary schools to meet the current demand.
“Previously and in most cases, Council would allocate residential stands but failed to build schools in those areas. In the end, some people have been taking advantage of the situation, opening illegal learning centres that fleece parents of their hard-earned cash,” Vilela said.
Most pupils who could not be accommodated at schools in Marondera Urban are now attending peri-urban schools such as Chisarasara, Grasslands, Marirangwe, Theydon, St Francis and Eagle Tanning Primary Schools.
Vilela also revealed that considering the urgency of the need for more primary schools in Marondera, Council had formulated a policy which compels it to form a schools’ construction committee which is chaired by the director of housing and community services.
“Council also created a separate account for that and revenue collected from churches or church sites are channelled into that account. Construction has since started at Chitepo, Garikai and Cherutombo Primary Schools that have also since enrolled pupils,” he said.