Thirteen secondary schools in Beitbridge have received mobile science laboratories and 100 bicycles from the Government and its partners.
The district has 19 registered secondary schools and before the latest development only five had science laboratories.
The bicycles are meant to address challenges to do with learners dropping out of school because of the long distance they have to walk to the nearest secondary school.
The mobile science labs, manufactured at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), were sourced by Raubex Construction.
The company was contracted by the Zimborders Consortium and the Government to modernise the Beitbridge Border Post at a cost of US$300 million.
Raubex’s safety, health, environmental and quality manager, Mr Rikus Potgieter said they had mobilised the labs and bicycles as part of their efforts to complement what the Government was doing in improving the quality of education nationwide.
He said the labs were powered by liquid petroleum gas which was readily available and that it would be a relief for those secondary schools which are yet to be connected to the national electricity grid.
“We are grateful for the support we are getting from the Beitbridge community and we have decided to come up with this gesture after consulting widely with all the relevant stakeholders,” said Mr Potgieter.
Zimborders general manager, Mr Nqobile Ncube said they were hopeful that with science labs most schools will be able to produce better results in science related subjects.
Beitbridge senior traditional leader Chief Stauze (David Mbedzi) said it was important for more companies and communities to work together in addressing deficiencies in the teaching of science subjects.
“Our wish is to have many schools using solar energy as alternative power supply so that most these facilities may be equipped with information communication and technology equipment as we embrace digitisation.
“Previously most schools here were focusing on the teaching of human sciences and we are expecting that to change with the coming in of the basic mobile science labs.”
Matabeleland South senator, who monitors Beitbridge, Senator Tambudzani Mohadi, said the development and improvement of the education sector required a collective effort.
She said the science labs would go a long way in affording both the boys and girls equal opportunities to take up science subjects.
“This donation from Raubex is huge and we appreciate that it is targeting our youths in schools and seeks to complement what the Government seeks to achieve in the education sector,” said Cde Mohadi.
“A shortage of resources and infrastructure has previously been a challenge in this area and hence the Government has been urging schools to develop their own resource base.
“Part of the plan is having a situation where every secondary school offers at least two natural sciences subjects starting at form three.”
She said in some instances some schools have been offering a partial curriculum and that the Government was working on that area.
Cde Mohadi said the worst affected schools were those in the rural component of the district.
There was also a need for development partners to continue working with government in constructing more schools.
“We have made great strides as Government in the last decade we have been able to increase the number of secondary schools. If we continue with this spirit, we will be able to achieve our targets as a country,” said Cde Mohadi.
The development comes a few months after President Mnangagwa donated 300 computers to 10 schools in Matabeleland South to enhance digitisation and the use of ICT in the education sector.
The Second Republic is already in an overdrive establishing state-of-the-art ICT labs in schools countrywide in a bid to renew learning methods and establish a more active collaboration of students and the simultaneous acquisition of technological knowledge.
The move is a fulfilment of the mandate given by the President to the Ministry of Communication Technology Postal and Courier Service to ensure that no one is left behind in the digital age.