BCC Owned Peri Urban Schools Suffer Neglect
Bulawayo City Council peri urban schools are being shunned by teachers; living them only with temporary teachers taking up the task.
Statistics show that while there has been competition for the top post on the Grade 7 results, St Peters and Aisleby peri- urban schools have continued to post poor results.
BULAWAYO (The Citizen Bulletin) — Methembe Ndiweni of St Peters says he was forced to transfer his child from St Peters Primary school despite it being the nearest from his residence.
“My first born performed badly on the 2018 Grade 7 results at St Peters, and I decided to transfer the second born to Malindela primary school in Pumula North where he is doing very well,” Ndiweni says.
St Peters is a peri urban suburb located at St Peters village and is separated from Pumula by a bush.
St Peters and Aisleby primary schools located in the Reigate district are notorious for poor results.
According to a Bulawayo City Council annual report for the year ended December 31, 2016, Aisleby and St. Peter’s were the worst performing schools recording zero pass rates.
In 2017, Aisleby and St Peters maintained their bottom positions.
In 2020, Malindela was the best performing school, improving its 2019 pass rate by 11, 8 percent.
However, Aisleby was the worst performing school with a zero percent pass rate.
The local authority says St Peters had a 13, 5 % pass rate, second from the bottom and Manondwane had a 31, 1 percent pass rate and was placed third from bottom.
In 2019, BCC-run primary schools excelled in the country's national Grade Seven public examinations, with the province taking the top spot, despite a general decline in the pass rate.
According to the local authority's annual report, council schools managed to perform satisfactorily, as all the 29 schools scored above the 50 percent pass rate.
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However, the national pass rate for 2020 Grade Seven examinations went down from 46, 9 percent to 37, 1 percent, with this attributed to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools eventually opened in phases during the third quarter of the year which heavily affected educational activities, resulting in the pass rate falling.
For the year 2021, BCC says 4 807 learners sat for the 2021 Grade 7 final examinations (Zimsec) and 2 688 learners passed the six subjects with five or better. The pass rate was ranked at 55, 92 percent.
“Aisleby maintained the bottom place and had zero percent pass rate similar to 2020 and at second position from the bottom was St. Peters that lost 11 percent from 13.56 percent to 2.56 percent. Ingubo, at position three from the bottom continued to disappoint, losing 3, 26 percent from 38.74 percent to 35.48 percent,” a council report notes.
Sikhululekile Moyo, a councilor for ward 17 where St Peter's primary is located, says the schools suffer accessibility challenges.
“The situation at St Peter's school is very bad, mainly because of accessibility due to bad roads, something which I feel has contributed negatively to the poor results. That alone demoralises teachers,” Moyo says.
Ward 4 councilor Silas Chigora adds: “You find that learners there are from farms and generally due to the rural set up, teachers shun the school and you end up having temporary teachers taking up the task.”
With statistics showing how competent most of BCC run schools, a villager in St Peters, has no kind words for the city fathers.
“Honestly, this does not make sense, yes we are in the peri urban, and not rural areas. If a school which is less than 30 kilometres from the city can be neglected like this, what then do you expect from schools in Nkayi or Tsholotsho?”
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Local government, Bulawayo, Education, Social and Economic justice
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