Lovemore Kadzura Rusape Correspondent
MINISTRY of Primary and Secondary Education has partnered with a local accounting firm, C and J Accounting and Secretarial Services to provide clean drinking water and enhanced commercial agricultural activities in rural schools.
The partnership which is on commercial basis will see C and J Accounting and Secretarial Services drilling a borehole and installation of a pump, solar panels, tank, drip irrigation equipment and fish ponds in secondary schools across the country.
The equipment will be set up at no cost to the schools and in return a school will provide one hectare of land for intensive agriculture projects. C and J will use its expertise and experience to ensure that the piece of land gives decent produce at the harvest of each crop so that costs can be recovered during a period of three years. Speaking at the provincial launch of the project at Mutungagore High School in Makoni West last Saturday, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora, said the project was expected to be critical in the transfer of skills to learners and part of the produce would be used to support the school’s feeding programme.
“The ministry, through the provincial education directors and district schools inspectors will monitor closely the activities at each school in order to ensure that the project is an unmitigated success in every school. The Memorandum of Understanding with C and J has been entered into with high expectations in relationship to the home-grown school feeding programme that Government has approved and the ministry is implementing.
“Part of the produce from the school will be used to support school feeding for all learners at the school. The project is expected to be critical in the transfer of skills to learners. There is tremendous potential for a win-win situation for learners, partners and communities and I must emphasize that given such a scenario, nobody will be given the luxury of sleeping on duty.“The ZIMSWAP project here at Mutungagore High School will fulfil a number of objectives that include provisions of clean water to learners, a cost effective income generating project for the school, employment creation for youths and women in support of Zim-Asset and enhancing socio-economic transformation through the promotion of agriculture in all the schools in Zimbabwe,” said Dr Dokora.
C and J managing director, Mr Antony Mackintosh, said his organisation would work closely with chosen schools to make sure that the project would be a successful one. He also added that they will engage experts in agriculture and marketing to manage the projects. Central African Building Society (CABS) are the funding partners and were represented by their managing director, Mr Simon Hammond, who said there was vast potential in the education and agriculture sector. Mutungagore High School headmaster, Mr Leonard Mutibu, said his school was privileged to be one of the pioneers of the project in the country and the project had brought significant change at his school. “ZIMSWAP has not only brought clean and safe water to our school, but also provided the vital element in the new curriculum that is agriculture. This project has facilitated all year round farming. The project as by our calculations will soon be generating income for our school which we will use for our infrastructure development and also cover other expenses,” said Mr Mutibu.