Government Embarks on Reconstruction of Cyclone Freddy Damaged Infrastructure
Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology has indicated that about 600 Schools across the country were affected by devastating Cyclone Freddy, which hit the nation between February and March this year.
Addressing the media, Secretary for Education in the Ministry of Education Chikondano Mussa said that government is rebuilding damaged infrastructure such as schools, healthy facilities, and roads in the most affected areas to make sure that education is accessible in a conducive environment and facilitate continuation of the learning process in all schools.
Mussa further hailed the support the Ministry received from various partners and international donors, saying the gesture was of great assistance in responding to the disaster.
“I am pleased to say that government is in the process of identifying areas that are not prone to natural disasters where about 10,900 school blocks will be constructed to avoid a repeat of the same,” she said.
Mussa also explained that government has teaching modalities in place aimed at helping children who are not physically present at school access their studies while at home.
“We have a directorate already called Open Distance and E-Learning that provides studies through radio and an online platform to children that are not physically present in class. These programmes helped a lot during the time of the disaster,” said Mussa.
In addition, Mussa also disclosed that government has constructed three additional Teacher Training Colleges in the three country’s regions in a quest to address the problem of teacher-student ratio, which is at about 100 to 120 pupils per teacher against the internationally recommended 50 to 60 students per teacher.
She added that government is very optimistic that the construction of the three colleges across the country will reduce the shortage of teachers, mainly in primary schools, adding that each college will have the capacity to enroll 600 students annually.
Records show that Cyclone Freddy displaced over 5000 people in 14 affected districts, and claimed over 1000 deaths; while more than 600 people were reported missing.