Bricks molded by the youth for the construction of Chipezeze School in Zaka district ward 19.
Youth in Zaka district (ward 19) are playing a critical role in supporting the construction of Chipezeze Secondary school in Chipezeze village under Chief Ndanga.
In early 2019, the Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) community structures under the portfolio committee on education, conducted a survey on accessibility of secondary schools in Zaka district which revealed a shortage of secondary schools in ward 19.
The survey findings informed the engagements between COTRAD community members and public officials over the need for a secondary school in Chipezeze area. The protracted engagements over the concerns resulted in the approval and pegging of the secondary school by the Zaka Rural District Council in 2022.
The Zaka RDC also included the construction of the Chipezeze secondary school in the 2022 annual budget and plans, however little has been done towards the development of the school.
Although, engagements over the prioritization of the construction of the school by the council are still ongoing between community members and council authorities, youth and other community members have decided to start the school construction processes.
The community members expressed that COTRAD ward 19 community leaders initiated the process by facilitating the establishment of the school construction committee responsible for organizing, mobilizing and fundraising for the construction project.
Speaking during a community feedback meeting the COTRAD Zaka ward 19 community team leader Mercy Muziri stated that the school construction committee and the youth are currently working together during various activities in support of the school construction process.
“As the young people we have learnt that we have a social responsibility, therefore we have resolved to compliment the local council and public officials in the construction of this school and other development projects in our community. It’s high time we should not continue folding our hands and blame the council and public officials without doing anything ourselves.” said Muziri.
The ward community leader stated that they are organizing community working parties (Nhimbe) where young people and community members collectively come together and provide voluntary labor during the school construction process.
The youth appreciated the support they got from local traditional leaders, business people and the old students association.
“We want to thank our local village heads, Chipezeze, Siyawareva, Chivasa, Bare and other traditional leaders for supporting us in mobilizing villagers to assist in the project. We also thank local business people and old students association for financial and other logistical support. We wish to continue working together as a community for betterment of our locality,” said Tanaka Chakanyuka.
Despite the Zaka ward 19 being in Jerera Growth Point, the ward has only one secondary school, St Anthony high school, a catholic boarding school which is overwhelmed and not affordable by every student in the ward. This has left many students without any option but attend schools in other wards to access education. The closest schools for the Chipezeze villagers is Zaka secondary school located in ward 8 and St Joseph secondary school in ward 18 which is a long distance from Chipezeze village.
Therefore, COTRAD calls upon the Zaka RDC and the government at large to consider and implement youth priorities which include the demand for improved provision of education in fulfillment of section 75 of the constitution of Zimbabwe and urges community members, especially youth to peacefully engage their public officials to present community concerns and priorities.
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