If you thought five years is a long time to wait. Think again! Pupils at Siansalama Primary School in Sinazongwe district have been learning in roofless classes since 2018 after a storm ripped through the school.

The school is still surrounded by piles of debris five years after the storm destroyed the roof of the classes.

Mweetwa Mweempe, one of the parents who has two children at the school is questioning government’s commitment to its own safety rules.

“Was government going to allow pupils to learn in such a school if this was a private school?” Mweempe wondered. “Even our local council (Sinazongwe Town Council), can they confidently say this building is approved and safe for learning?”

The school has over 300 pupils from grade one to seven and two teachers deployed by government catering for surrounding villages within a 30-kilometre radius.

The District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) for Sinazongwe, Victor Moyo, told MakanDay that his office is aware of the poor state of the school and that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) had responded to the call for help.

“Initially, DMMU released K150,000 for the roof but later, there was a top up and the funding is now K405,000,” he said. “The increase is because the initial budget was based on 2018 quotations.”

Moyo said the delay to fix the school is partly due to the money released was beyond his office’s threshold.

“What has delayed the work is the province (Provincial Educational Office – PEO)’s office, they have to take the project through a tendering process,” he said.

MakanDay has also established that the school has other challenges, including lack of adequate desks and only house for teachers.