BCP Zimbabwe: Another Milestone for the Sarah Bata Schools

Sarah and Thomas G. Bata, along with a group of notable visitors, took part in a ceremony on May 24 to open a newly constructed block of classrooms, a new library and a multifunction thatched pavilion at the Sarah Bata Schools in Gweru, Zimbabwe. It was also the occasion for a vast donation of 28,000 textbooks.

With unwavering support from the Bata Children’s Program (BCP) and Sarah Bata, Bata Zimbabwe again upheld its commitment to support the empowerment of the Midlands community’s youth through quality education.

The new block of classrooms was built to accommodate up to 60 Form 3 students, and the textbooks were donated to both the Sarah Bata Senior and Junior Schools to share in part with the Ministry of Education.

In attendance were many distinguished guests. Besides the Batas, they included Zimbabwe’s Education Minister Lazarous Dokora; from Bata Brands, Nicole Voillat, Hala Zakhour and Lucia Lot; Bata Zimbabwe country manager Ehsan Zaman and his wife; the Bata Zimbabwe management team; BCP volunteers; the parents of students; and members of the local government such as the mayor of Gweru, a representative of the Ministry of Provincial Affairs, and Midlands Education Director Agnes Gumbo.

The day started with a tour of the Sarah Bata Schools, during which the guests were treated to spectacular performances by the students. The young people recited poetry, sang and, undoubtedly the highlight, did traditional dances.

Another memorable moment during the tour was the impressive presentation by the senior school’s woodworking students, and young Tapiwanashe Maradzi was full of excitement when the minister took him up on his offer to make him a wooden briefcase.

Dokora, Zaman and Mrs. Bata each addressed those gathered.

Dokora thanked BCP and the Sarah Bata Schools for taking a leading role in the implementation of the new curriculum introduced by the government of Zimbabwe early this year. He expressed his optimism in the curriculum’s ability to usher in a new educational paradigm to encourage the emergence of all-rounder students with skills relevant to the current and future economy.

Zaman remarked, “I am so moved by the support and donations of Mr. and Mrs. Bata, the untiring work of BCP, and the support of the government of Zimbabwe and local authorities for the development and upgrading of the Sarah Bata Schools. We at Bata Zimbabwe will continue to uphold our commitment to sustainability and continue to support the schools as they take on the new curriculum.”

And the schools’ patron, Mrs. Bata, enthused the community with her commitment. “I am very much committed and willing to see the schools successfully prepare the learners for their future lives. My husband and I therefore pledge to fund the construction of a multifunction pavilion as part of our effort for adequate facilities for the senior school. I welcome the new curriculum as it focuses on ensuring there is no child left behind through nurturing the talents and interests of each child.”

After their remarks, the minister, Mr. and Mrs. Bata, and Zaman, together with other guests, did a ceremonious ribbon cutting for the Form 3 block of classrooms and officially presented some 10,000 donated textbooks to the minister of education.

The success of the inauguration ceremony was made possible by the committed BCP volunteers who served as ushers and worked tirelessly to organize the event.