By Michael Mashiri
Binga North MP in the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe, Dubeko Prince Sibanda, says efforts are being made to make sure that schools admit students at form one level even at 24 years of age.
In an interview with Spiked Online Media recently, Sibanda said many youths in Binga have been disadvantaged as they fail to access education because they have to travel long distances to get to school. As a result, there are plans with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education so that youths from 24 years and below are admitted into school.
“We have made an initiative that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education enrol youths that are 24 years and below into high school starting from Form 1,” Sibanda said.
He said the move had been done to give educational opportunities to children that had lost them.
Dubeko said children doing Form One are walking 10 kilometres to and from school which is a disadvantage on their part.
“It is not easy for a Form 1 child to walk 10 kilometres one way going to school and one way coming back home, hence the opportunities that have been lost by our young generation are huge,” he said
Dubeko also said many of the children did not even reach Grade 7 and they are supposed to be given a chance to enable them to advance in education because it is difficult for a child to continue everyday walking such a long distance.
He said the problem needed urgent attention as many youths had resorted to alcoholism, since they stayed at home most of the time and this was a problem to the society.
Binga is an area that has had poor educational infrastructure over the years.
The community has 80 primary schools and not more than 40 secondary schools with a population of approximately 200 000 people, making it problematic since the secondary schools do not accommodate the large numbers coming from primary schools.
Binga faced massive exodus of teachers because of lack of clean water, accommodation and poor telephone networks.