Storey school building set for construction in Unguja North

ZANZIBAR: RELIEF for school children as new storey-buildings will be constructed at Mkokotoni coastal village in Unguja North, thanks to President Hussein Mwinyi’s ongoing reforms in the education sector.

The good news was revealed by  Minister for Education and Vocational Training Lela Mohamed Mussa when she laid a foundation stone for the construction of the three-storey building, that is estimated to cost 6.1bn/-.

Ms Lela officiated at the event on behalf of the Speaker of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, Zubeir Ali Maulid.

The colourful function was among activities to commemorate Zanzibar’s 60th anniversary revolution.

“The 1964 revolution is the secret behind achieving development goals, benefiting all citizens, without discrimination including in education. Let us celebrate the successes recorded in the past 60 years,” said Ms Lela.

She informed the gathering that before the revolution there was no equality in accessing social services including education, as there was one preparatory school with 60 students, and 62 primary schools with a total of 24,334 students.

“Latest statistics show that by October this year (2023), the number of pre-primary schools had increased to 891 with a total of 102,098 students, while primary schools stood at 649 with a total of 380,638 students,” Ms Lela explained.

In terms of secondary schools, Zanzibar had only five schools with 1,038 students, whereas currently the number of schools providing secondary education has reached 318 with a total of 110,045 students.

The education minister said based on the statistics, the government under President Dr Mwinyi continues to improve education    infrastructure with the construction storey buildings in various areas of Unguja and Pemba to ensure that the number of students in the classroom does not exceed 45 and that all students have morning session only.

She said the government continues to improve science laboratories in all schools in Zanzibar as well as installing modern lab equipment for teaching students to improve their understanding and perform well in science subjects.

Ministry’s Principal Secretary Mr Khamis Abdulla Said explained that the planned new storey school will have 41 rooms for students to study, three laboratories for Physics, Chemistry and Biology respectively, a library and toilets, and will consider students with disability.

Unguja North Regional Commissioner Rashid Hadidi Rashid said his region has a total of 210 classrooms built by the revolutionary government of Zanzibar, as he asked parents to encourage their children to make the best use of the available science lab.

Students at Mkokotoni secondary school thanked the government through the Ministry of Education and Vocational training and development partners for addressing the challenge for some students from Pale and Mkwajuni villages walking a long distance to school.

Ms Asha Simai Khamis, who is a secondary student in Mkokotoni School said the construction of the school will encourage many students to study, including studying science subjects due to the presence of modern learning equipment as well modern laboratory.

The construction of the new storey school buildings, which is done by Simba Developers company, and local consultants – ‘AE and Q’ CONSULTING LTD, started in May 2023 and is expected to complete in March 2024.

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