South Africa-based preacher Shepherd Bushiri on Friday handed over to government Zolokere Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) he has been building in years.
The ceremony was held at the school’s premises in Hewe, Rumphi, where Bushiri was represented by Duncan Zgambo, chief executive officer of Shepherd Bushiri Foundation (SBF).
The ceremony was also witnessed by Northern Region division education manager (DEM), Mzondi Moyo and Rumphi district commissioner.
The secondary school boasts of four classrooms with capacity of over 70 students, four teachers’ offices, a library room, a laboratory room, a staff room meant for over 20 teachers and offices for the head teacher and the school bursar.
The donation has come complete with furniture in the offices, library text books, laboratory equipment and computers.
“Dr Bushiri grew up and went to school in this area and he used to walk over 15 kilometres just to get to Zolokere Primary School,” said Zgambo.
He added: “Even when he got selected to Katowo CDSS, his challenge of braving distances was complicated with the fact that so many of his peers failed to further their studies as there were few secondary schools in his area.”
According to Rumphi education manager Macfarene Mzumara, Zolokere CDSS is in Katowo Education Zone, where, on average, 700 learners sit for Primary Leaving School Education (PLSCE) examinations.
However, he added, because there is only one secondary in the zone, only about 150 learners gets selected, leaving a large percentage without a chance of accessing secondary education.
“Zolokere CDSS, then, comes in to help increase access to secondary education for the students in the area,” he said.
The school is expected to have its first intake in November because the contractor hasn’t yet finalised construction of teacher’s house. However, both SBF and government have been assured that the houses will be ready by mid-October.
According to Zgambo, the school will turn into a full-fledged boarding school in the next four years.
Rumphi district commissioner Fred Movete thanked Bushiri for the project, saying it will help to increase access to secondary education for the youths in the area.