Pakati Secondary school – a History lesson

Pakati Secondary school in 1992

Post-independence in Zimbabwe saw an expansion of the Education sector, and in particular, a rapid growth of Secondary schools across the country. Pakati was part of this expansion, and like so many other schools in rural areas, provided education to GCSE O level for the first time to those local communities.

Mr Chifaka and the Author, 2019

Thanks go to Mr Mugove Chifaka (current Head of Pakati Secondary school), Bothwell Riside, Debbie Chadbon and Lorraine Mapuranga (all regular Friends of Pakati contributors), plus Mr Mutyavaviri, Nickson Dzimauta, Patience Chinhoyi, Portia Nemaruru and others, for the additional information and photos.

Pakati Secondary school, 1990

Pakati Secondary school began life in 1984. At first, it was actually housed in the Primary school buildings, while construction began in 1985 of the first 3 classroom blocks, plus two teachers houses.

Teachers houses in 1991

Murewa RDC (Rural District Council) brought in men who camped by the school and started erecting concrete poles. They made three shed-like buildings which were later filled by cement made blocks of bricks. The roof trusses were made of steel, and the roofs were put up way before the walls were built. They were built very quickly, and during 1985 Pakati had the first secondary school up and running.

Red: 3 original classroom blocks -Green: 2 original teachers houses – Blue: original borehole – Black: 4th classroom block – Purple: 4th teachers house – Yellow: House were both Debbie and the Author stayed

One development I can confirm myself is the completion of a new borehole in early 1991, funded by the British High Commission through their Small Scale Development fund.

Primary school on the left, Secondary on the right. Old borehole marked in blue, new borehole in 1991 marked in red

A fourth block was begun in 1988, but due to a number of issues, was not completed until 1992. VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), who brought Debbie Chadbon and the Author to Pakati as teachers, helped by donating funds towards new windows and painting/decorating the building.

The picture at the top of this page was taken after it was officially opened for use, and is the block where Debbie got some of her students to help put the World map on one external wall.

Debbie in 1992

Bothwell tells me he remembers it well: “I used to go and watch this being painted. What’s so vivid in my memory is that we used to be amazed at how a person could paint using her left hand.” The map was repainted in 2017. I am told that the whole school was redecorated in 2018.

4th block in 2019

The Heads of Pakati Secondary school have been as follows (awaiting confirmation of who was Head first) :

Mr Samakomva can be seen in the suit & tie. Picture taken in 1990

Mr Samakomva (from?) – 1990.
Mr Walker – 1991.
Mr Veremu 1991 – 1995.
Mr Senzere 1995 – (gap to be filled later)

Owen Veremu seen on the right, 1992

Mr Mushaninga – 2007.
Mr Chifaka – 2007 to 2010.
Mr Chingoriwo 2010 to 2017.
Mr Chifaka – 2017 to the present day

According to Debbie, “The 4th teachers house was built in 1993, it was completed around the time I left.” Since then, four more teachers houses have been completed.

In 2009, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) installed the Solar power supply at Pakati Secindary school, as shown to me by Mr Chifaka on my most recent visit.

He further tells me that “ZESA electricity was installed in 2015, but there was no transformer till 2018.” Installation is confirmed as 2015 by local resident Nickson Dzimauta who worked on the project at the time.

Administration block

In more recent years, there have been several new other buildings added – an Administration Block. Fashion and Fabrics Block as well as a Science & Technology Block.

Fashion & Fabrics Block
Inside F & F Block in 2019

An external area was also set aside for Building/Construction practical lessons.

In 2018

Most recently, a new Tuck Shop has been built. The school buildings have also all been redecorated in recent years.

Tuck shop

A fence was put around the school, as can be seen in the picture below, and I am told by former teacher there Mr Mutyavaviri that it was erected in 2016.

View of the school from the teachers houses, 2018

The classrooms and facilities inside for students appear to have changed little over the years. This is part of the reason for Friends of Pakati to exist.

In 1992
In 2019

So please, if you can, help us to improve the educational experience of the students at these two schools, and by extension, improve the lives of the surrounding community. Donate either time, effort goods and/or money, using the following details:

Email to friendsofpakati@gmail.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/friendsofpakati

Facebook: http://facebook.com/Friends-of-pakati

Donate money: http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati

Author:

My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and spent the last 14 years as a Civil Servant in Bradford. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

Leave a Reply