AT least 72 pupils are expected to be enrolled at Marshall Hartley Primary School in Musengezi, Mashonaland West province, for boarding following the recent construction of a block of classrooms and two hostels.
The primary school was established in 1910 as a boarding school and was named after the president of the United Methodist Church.
Since its establishment, several prominent people, national heroes and politicians were enrolled at the primary school.
These include the late Dr Herbert Ushewokunze, the late Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena, former Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunications and veteran nationalist Dr Nathan Shamuyarira and Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu's mother, among others.
The late national heroes Josiah and Ruth Chinamano also wedded at the school's hall in 1935.
Matthew Rusike children's home was also formed at Marshall Hartley Primary School.
Most of the buildings at the school, which was a day school, were in a dilapidated state.
Recently, Minister Shamu and Deputy Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Lazarus Dokora visited Marshall Hartley Primary School where a block of classrooms and two hostels where built by Zimplats.
Marshall Hartley Primary School head Mr Bayton Nyamadzawo said by January 29, the school will be ready to open up the boarding facility although they were facing a few challenges.
"As of now the hostels will accommodate 72 pupils and it is our hope that if we have eight more hostels, then we will be able to accommodate 600 pupils," he said.
He said the school was on 32 hectares of land and they were going to utilise it by starting income-generating projects such as gardening, poultry and farming.
Mr Nyamadzawo said there was need for the school to also have adequate water supplies and electricity.
"Fencing the school is also another issue that we think needs to be addressed and it is my hope that we will continue getting support," he said.
Minister Shamu, who is also the legislator for Chegutu East, said the school must uphold the principles and philosophies of the Methodist Church.
He said the school authorities must also enroll the number of pupils commensurate with the infrastructure and continue developing it.
"Because of its history, we should continue to develop it," he said.
Minister Shamu said Zanu-PF would continue to improve the conditions and lives of the people.
"There is no other political party that can talk of development in the country other than Zanu-PF. It has brought so many changes in the lives of the people besides liberating this country," he said.
He said other political parties, particularly MDC-T, peddled lies and made fake promises to the people.
Minister Shamu said most of the people now enjoyed peace, which was brought about by the attainment of independence in 1980.
"If there is peace and unity, there will be development. If there is no freedom, there will be no development such as here (Marshall Hartley Primary School) and in the country," he said.
Minister Shamu said it should be noted that funds provided by Zimplats to build classroom blocks and hostels at Marshall Hartley Primary School did not come from the community share trust funds.
"This was a request we made before the coming in of the community share trust funds," he said.
Cde Dokora urged the school officials not to destroy one of the blocks at the school, saying it should be preserved for history purposes.
"Preserve this building for history purposes and put artefacts or portraits of some of the people who have passed through here since 1910," he said.
He said people should be able to define themselves through some form of identity and that heritage was very important.
Cde Dokora also expressed concern over the pass rate at Marshall Hartley Primary School and urged the officials to look into the issue.
For the past few years, the school always had between 12 percent and 13 percent pass rates.
"We want a good performance at this school and not only should you concentrate on expansion," Deputy Minister Dokora said.
Recently, Government upgraded Nyatsanga Primary School in Mhondoro to a secondary school with immediate effect.
The school has started enrolling Form One pupils and the decision was taken to ameliorate suffering by pupils who have been walking long distances to the nearest secondary schools.
Two of the secondary schools, Neuso and Nyatsambo, are located more than five kilometres away from the area, forcing some pupils to drop out of school.
Government is set to build a secondary school near Nyatsanga Primary School soon.
Minister Shamu and Deputy Minister Dokora also toured the area where the new school is expected to be built.