The way rural and urban learners get opportunities and access to basics necessary for learning can sometimes be as opposite as the east and the west.

Masera Secondary School is roughly 80 kilometres from Beitbridge town.

It is that rural school where young learners labour all day.

Basics such as laboratories, computers and networked computers are still a dream. Pupils travel long distances for a day’s learning.

The lucky ones have donated bicycles.

Furniture in the classrooms is hardly adequate.

Compare that environment with that of an urban private school.

Pupils have access to a school bus, a computer laboratory and good facilities.

Even the parents are celebrating, the introduction of e-learning and teaching in local languages which include Tshivhenda, Tshitshangane, Ndebele, Shona and Sotho.

It is a dream learning environment against a rural Masera type of school scenario.

The discrepancy of such a magnitude is worrying, said Beitbridge west legislator Honourable Ruth Maboyi.

It is a tale of two cities whose reality has an impact on motivation to the pupils.

The visible differences in the country’s rural public and urban mostly private education sectors are the reason for huge dropouts among young learners.

Most only stay in class until at least form 2 or 3 then lift up their eyes and envisage a better life just a few kilometres across the border in South Africa, and when they go, it is yet another statistic of a region robbed of its future.

For parents as dedicated as Mr Aaron Ndou, the Masera School Development Committee chair, it is a national tragedy whose repercussions will be felt for generations to come.