Netone Building State of the Art School in Binga
One of the country’s leading telecommunications companies, Netone is building a state of the art school in Binga in the Siachilaba area of Binga, Matabeleland North Province, as part of its policy on giving back to community.
Bunsiwa Primary School, located 60km from Binga Centre, which serves over 220 students in the marginalised Binga community will have ICT equipment, wi-fi and printers, all from NetOne.
"As NetOne, we seek to assist the Government in delivering equal access to education for all," said NetOne acting head of marketing and public relations Mr Dennis Chagonda.
"As part of the Government and United Nations mantra of ‘leaving no one behind’, NetOne is working towards including all communities in its developmental strategy.
"Bunsiwa Primary has a population of over 220 students but has only 23 sets of chairs and desks.
"This means about 200 students have nothing to use and spend a better part of their learning day under a tree."
Said Mr Chagonda: "Covid-19 has exposed us in terms of the technology gaps between rural learners and their urban counterparts.
"We have in our plan as a corporate measure to reduce the gap through the provision of ICTs to make e-learning possible.
"The block in question is at the foundation level with construction set to kick start in less than two weeks.
"In this project, NetOne partnered the community of Siachilaba which has nine villages."
Earlier this year, NetOne also commissioned the Nachulwe base station at an event officiated by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga. It was during this event that NetOne public relations officials identified the need for a modern school in the community.
Mr Chagonda thanked the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, for always supporting the company.
"Without their support, making meaningful community impact will be very difficult," he said.
As a way to uplift and empower local businesses, NetOne will source all available materials from the area.
"We have ensured that all materials which can be found within the community are sourced from the community to allow for full community participation. Materials not found locally will be sourced elsewhere within the region," said Mr Chagonda.
The school head, Mr Tedious Mwembe who hails from the area, lamented the previous state of the school and also thanked Netone saying this was the first time they had seen a company involving the relevant community leadership in all the steps of such a big project.
"We are short of words of describing how we feel about what NetOne has done for us.
"We only had one complete block with two classrooms and another one still under construction.
"This has made the learning and teaching process a nightmare especially under extreme weather conditions. The two classrooms had to be used by the nine classes in the school, from ECD-A to Grade 7.
"Once the project is done, every child will be able to learn from a proper classroom with proper furniture," he said.
Under a simmilar initiative, Netone is also renovating the Gwanda Provincial Hospital Theatre whose process has already begun.