Mpumelelo Secondary School

With the gradual decline of support of rural Zimbabwean schools, Mpumelelo which is based 150km outside of Bulawayo has been one of the many affected. The school is in a very poor, drought-ridden district, with no employment apart from subsistence agriculture. 156 (> 30%) of the children’s parents or guardians (many children are orphans) struggle to pay the $20 a term school fees.

The infrastructure of the school was drastically deteriorated, including classroom blocks, toilets, water supply and no electricity.

As a result teachers are less inclined to stay and invest in the school.
On the bright side, the school has young, dynamic teachers who are doing an amazing job with the little they have.

The school has been selected to teach A levels (not all Zimbabwean secondary schools do). This shows the education authorities have confidence in the school. Some expensive hardware – e.g. solar panels, computers – already in place but not yet working. The kids are very keen to learn.

AIMS:

1) Ensure the school has good basic infrastructure and services (buildings, water, electricity, fencing)
2) Provide educational materials so children study in good learning environment (desks, books, equipment for sport and practical subjects)
3) Develop the school so it can be used by the community as a resource centre (literacy, HIV/AIDS training, voter education..)

WHO WAS INVOLVED:

– ZRSDP has joined up with:
– Mpumelelo School Development Committee (teachers, parents, chaired by the headmaster.
-German Agro Action (GAA) – a reputable German NGO based in Nkayi, 15 km from Mpumelelo
– DFID and other donors are providing textbooks to schools throughout Zimbabwe
– Tim Cole –  Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Harare and a teacher at Mpumelelo from 1990-91
– Clare Cole – 17 years’ experience working in development in Africa and Latin America

PRINCIPLES:

School development committee is responsible for prioritization of needs Local community/students contribute to project financially or with labour.
COSTS:
Fencing around school, repaving classroom floors, new doors and windows, building new toilets and bathroom block, new A level science block – up to £20,000

Text books, library books, equipment for sports, agriculture, science, needlework – £8,500

Administration – £0. Tim and Clare Cole together with ZRSDP will manage the project on a voluntary basis