South Africa-based preacher Shepherd Bushiri has handed over to government Zolokere Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) he has been building in years.
The ceremony was held on Friday at the school’s premises in Hewe, Rumphi District, and the renowned preacher was represented by Duncan Zgambo, chief executive officer of Shepherd Bushiri Foundation (SBF).
The government side was represented by the Education Division Manager for the northern region, Mr Mzondi Moyo; District Education Manager for Rumphi, Mr Macfarene Mzumara; and the District Commissioner for Rumphi, Mr Movete. Senior chief Katumbi was also present.
The four-block, modern secondary school boasts of: four classrooms with capacity of over 70 students; four offices for form teachers; one library room; one laboratory room; one staff room covering over 20 teachers; one office for the head teacher and one office for the school bursar. He further furnished the school with all the furniture for the offices, library text books, laboratory equipments and computers.
In his remarks, Zgambo said: “Dr Bushiri grew up and went to school in this area and he used to walk over 15 kilometers just to get to Zolokere Primary School.
“Even when got selected to Katowo CDSS, his challenge of braving distances was complicated with the fact so many of his peers failed further their studies as there were few secondary schools in his area.”
Driven by such memories of pain, Dr Bushiri, whom God has blessed with a fortune, took it upon himself to go back to Hewe and be part of being a solution so that the new generation does not experience the old generation face, explained Zgambo.
According to Mzumara, Zolokere CDSS is located in Katowo Education Zone in the district. He explained that in the zone, an average of about 700 pupils sit for Primary Leaving School Education (PLSCE). However, he added, because there is only one secondary in the zone, only about 150 pupils gets selected, leaving a large percentage of qualified 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 finalized 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—in the next four years—will turn into a fully-fletched boarding school.
District Commissioner Movete hailed Prophet Bushiri for the project, saying it will help increase access to secondary education for the youths in the area. He added that government will do everything to ensure that the property is secured and also the learning process begins.