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    Monday, 19 March 2018

    Lack of Agricultural teachers hampers progress in Zvishavane

    ALLIEWAY NYONI

    ZVISHAVANE – Lack of agricultural teachers in primary schools has hampered progress for thriving school gardens in Zvishavane with many schools that benefited the (WFP) solar borehole facility failing to establish meaningful gardens for relish in support of the schools feeding program under the new curriculum.This was revealed by school heads in Zvishavane District when Minister of Primary and secondary Education Doctor Paul Mavhima visited some of the 22 schools in Zvishavane district last Thursday that have so far benefited from the first phase of the schools water and sanitation supply programme in support of the schools feeding program funded by WFP and implemented by ADRA.
    School heads said although they got a reprieve in water supply the government must go an extra mile in employing full time agricultural teachers to establish flourishing school gardens for food and commercial purposes.
    Matenda primary school deputy Head Tanyanyiwa Hakunavanhu said although they have raised $900 so far from the facility since July last year there is need for government to employ agric teachers for full implementation of the garden program.
    "Our knowledge of agriculture is very minimum and this has effect on production of these gardens. All the resources are there but expertise to establishing thriving gardens are not there," he said.
    Minister Mavhima responded by urging schools to improvise current staff and reskill them with agricultural skills through help from Agritex officers while the government considers their proposal to recruit fully trained agric staff.
     "We are going to reskill the available teachers which will take a few weeks and make teachers get the basic knowledge of Agriculture. What we have seen here shows that most people are not very knowledgeable about this subject. Let's utilise the human capital that we have so far by roping in agritex staff to train these teachers on agriculture while government in due course will employ fully trained agric teachers," Minister Mavhima said.
    WFP country director Eddie Rowe said while government has been providing grain in the schools feeding program relish has been the most difficult thing that schools have been facing hence the establishment of the water facility must improve the feeding program with relish being produced in their gardens.
    "These gardens must be able to provide relish to the schools to compliment the government's schools feeding program. We have completed 22 schools in our first phase and hopefully by end of the year we would have surpass 50 percent that is over 32 schools. I urge schools to fully utilize the borehole and garden program," he said.
    Chief Matenda who was part of the tour said lack of Agric teachers has seen schools going out in the community to get vegetables for the sustainability of the feeding programme whilst they have all resources.
    "This needs urgent plans by the Government to make such people available," he said.
     agriculture news

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