By Abigirl Tembo
AS part of efforts to ensure the safety of learners in schools, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, has launched a Comprehensive Safety Approach.
The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Schools Comprehensive Safety Approach is meant to develop basic capacities for education to continue even when there are emergencies and natural disasters.
The pilot project which began in 2018 has so far been launched in 15 schools in Mangwe District.
The district is susceptible to hazards such as strong winds, hailstorms, flash floods as well as human and wildlife conflicts.
“Under the hardware output, the project has helped retrofit class room blocks with the aim of building back better, with strict adherence to the current building standards so as to ensure resilient structures which are safe to both learners and teachers in times of disasters,” said Mr Elias Hwenga, Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society.
In a speech read on her behalf by the Chief Director Human Resources in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Learnson Tagara, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Tumisang Thabela commended the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society for the initiative.
“I stand proud to inform you that the new schools have been built back better replicating the funded works done with support from the Zimbabwe Red Cross most of these schools have inserted two doors opening outside and inserted access ramps. Therefore, the comprehensive school safety model’s main purpose is to ensure safety through protection of learners from death injury and harm in schools,” he said.
The project which is set to be taken to other schools countrywide has also seen the construction of Kahlu footbridge on Ngamela River in Mangwe District, thereby easing a perennial challenge faced by learners during the rainfall season.