Community comes to Mpacha tent school's rescue

09 Feb 2015 13:50pm
KATIMA MULILO, 09 FEB (NAMPA) – The Liselo community has decided to rally behind the Mpacha Primary School, which previously only had one leaky worn-out tent in which the principal, teachers and 43 learners operated.
Community members from the villages of Mpacha, Nzala, Mukendwa, Malambo, Muyembuluko, Lusozu and Sakumenka have now started putting up poles for mud structures, which they will finish off with zinc roofing.
The structure will consist of six rooms, of which one will be used as a storeroom.
The residents’ efforts follow a recent report by Nampa which highlighted the plight of the school, located some 15 kilometres south of Katima Mulilo.
The one pitched-tent school in use now accommodates all pre-primary to Grade Four learners, as well as a teachers’ staffroom and the principal’s ‘office’.
The school, which was set up in January 2014, also does not have toilets, no clean running water or tank, no electricity, no telephone and no playground equipment.
There are also no storage units for the safekeeping of textbooks and teaching materials, which subsequently resulted in school principal Collins Mulele approving the storage of all items in a guarded hut at a nearby village.
On Sunday during a visit to the school, Mpacha village headman Shabalume Aldrin Likezo told this agency that the community members, including pensioners, donated between N.dollars 50 and 100 each.
He said the community’s effort is a way of meeting Government halfway in its fight to provide their children with better education and learning facilities, instead of just pointing fingers at each other.
“We are all parents of learners at the Mpacha Primary School. Our children have tirelessly complained about the heat and wet weather, which affects them when being taught in a tent.
This is why as parents we decided to head deep into the thick bushes to chop the strongest and longest tree branches to be used as poles to hold the mud structure. We are also planning on building the principal’s office and teachers’ staffroom,” he explained.
Likezo, however, bemoaned the fact that the money raised is not enough to buy bricks to build ablution facilities for the learners and the school’s management team, adding that a water tank is also a costly issue.
“With no toilets, our learners and their school management will be exposed to dangers when visiting the bushes.
This is why we are appealing to the business community to help us where they can. A proper school has toilets and running water, as all these are human rights,” he stressed.
Mpacha Primary School board chairperson Aldrin Luseso told this reporter that the school management donated N.dollars 1 800 towards the building project.
He added that the Zambezi Regional Council also provided the school with two large tents to be used as classroom space.
These tents are to be returned after three months.