17 new schools will be constructed this year under a US$20 million facility following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and OPEC Fund for International Development Agreement.

Minister Lazarus Dokora said the construction of 17 schools is expected to be completed by December this year, while enrolment is expected by next January.

Dr Dokora said his ministry with the help of the Department of Public Works has developed designs for the project that will also see the purchase and installation of school equipment and furniture.

A representative of a consultancy company for the project, Mr Norman Zunzanyika said construction of schools will prioritise resettlement areas to reduce students’ walking distances to nearest schools.

The construction of schools is in line with government’s objective to improve the quality of and access to education to all citizens as outlined in the country’s ZIMASSET economic blue print.