UNICEF Zimbabwe distributes teaching and learning materials in 8 Cyclone Idai affected districts

UNICEF Zimbabwe through support from the World Bank-funded Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) distributed teaching and learning materials to eight Cyclone Idai affected districts

By Joneck Gwatiwa
ZIRP supplies
UNICEFZimbabwe/2020/Joneck Gwatiwa
20 October 2020

For communities affected by Cyclone Idai that destroyed essential infrastructure including schools, the distribution of teaching and learning materials to more than 85 000 learners, is ensuring continuity of learning.

UNICEF Zimbabwe through support from the World Bank-funded Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) distributed teaching and learning materials to eight Cyclone Idai affected districts in ongoing humanitarian assistance to help communities recover after the 2019 cyclone and flooding.

An estimated 270 000 people in Zimbabwe, with children constituting half of the population, were affected.  The Provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo, Midlands and Mashonaland East suffered the devastation of the Cyclone and the subsequent the flooding.

The cyclone also affected Mozambique and Malawi, sweeping away homes, road networks and schools leaving learners stranded and in need of humanitarian support.

Amid the interventions by UNICEF and partners, the COVID-19 pandemic has also raised new challenges making this particular support for learners a much needed and critical intercession.

UNICEF Zimbabwe secured teaching and learning supplies for over 130 Primary and Secondary schools in eight districts namely Chikomba, Gutu, Mutare, Chipinge, Chimanimani, Bikita, Mutasa and Buhera.

Frank Beaula
UNICEFZimbabwe/2020/Joneck Gwatiwa
Frank Beaula, UNICEF Warehouse Picker updating the stock card as teaching material goods are being dispatched from the warehouse.

The supplies which were procured over two phases comprise 700 teaching and learning kits, 400 Early Childhood Development (ECD) kits, about 65 000 satchels, 300 recreational kits, around 80 provisional classroom tents and hygiene kits, among others.

Commenting on the support, UNICEF Representative in Zimbabwe, Laylee Moshiri said “Our main thrust is to complement government efforts in its quest to provide equitable access to quality education. The provision of additional teaching and learning materials is meant to enhance access to quality education.”

ZIRP supports Cyclone Idai affected communities

ZIRP is a multi-year response to the devastation left by Cyclone Idai is meant to address the early and medium-term resilient disaster recovery needs of cyclone-affected people.

The project is being implemented through agencies such as WFP (World Food Programme), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF.

UNOPS, who manages the project is working on rehabilitating damaged primary and secondary schools in Chimanimani. To compliment UNOPS efforts, UNICEF Education section is responsible for the procurement of teaching and learning materials for the cyclone affected schools.

UNICEFZimbabwe/2020/Joneck Gwatiwa

Striving to leave no one behind

The provision of learning materials supplements the ongoing radio lessons introduced through UNICEF and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education partnership. The roll out of the radio lessons was a commitment by the Government to providing education during the COVID-19 induced schools’ closures.

MoPSE in conjunction with UNICEF through the support of Education Cannot Wait   and Global Partnership For Education [JM1] rolled out radio lessons largely through community radio stations as part of alternative learning programme. The broadcasting radio channels are Star FM, Nyaminyami FM, Khulumani FM, Diamond FM and Hevoi FM. The indigenous languages in which primary radio lessons are broadcast: IsiNdebele, Shona, IsiXhosa, Nambya, Sotho, Kalanga, Venda, Chewa, Ndau, Tonga, Barwe, and Xangani.

“Like the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment that was done in response to COVID-19, the procurement of teaching and learning materials will ensure continuity of learning as well as maintaining quality learning,” Moshiri said.

As part of a Back to School reintegration plan, the ZIRP-led humanitarian assistance in the cyclone affected areas, as well as the ongoing broader assistance across the country UNICEF continues the safe return to quality learning for lchildren, teachers and school communities. In addition, the support given to the schools by provision of hygiene kits supplements health interventions to protect learners, teachers and communities in light of COVID-19.