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Nyarutombo Primary School upgraded to ZIMSEC Exams Centre after facelift by Stanbic Bank

Nyarutombo Primary School in Mt Darwin, Mbire District, Mashonaland Central Province, has now been designated a Zimbabwe Schools Examination Centre (ZIMSEC) thanks to the construction of a classroom block, toilets and a borehole by Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe. The construction of the block with two classrooms changed the face of the educational institution which was previously avoided by parents from nearby areas who opted to have their children walk long distances to attend examination registered schools.

Nyarutombo Primary School, some 230 km north-west of Harare, is a Methodist Church of Zimbabwe (MCZ) institution and has seen its fortunes change following the facelift by Stanbic Bank. Run under the auspices of the MCZ’s Methodist Development and Relief Agency (MeDRA) the school now has a solarized borehole and a 10 000-litre tank ensuring the pupils have clean water all year round.

MeDRA acting National Director Tariro Washaya said the facelift by Stanbic Bank raised the profile of the school and has driven growth in the institution’s pass rate over the last two years. The classroom block and toilets were constructed in 2019 and began functioning in December 2020. Stanbic Bank also managed to furnish the classrooms with desks and chairs. Washaya said the fruits of Stanbic Bank’s work started manifesting in the first quarter of 2021 when the institution was inundated with applications for enrolment while the process for the school to be a recognized as a ZIMSEC centre took effect.

The story of Nyarutombo Primary School is a typical rags-to-riches story in many ways and the transformation of this school is all thanks to Stanbic Bank. The school had a low enrollment because there were no classrooms. It was a satellite school whose pass rate was very low. I am proud to say that the pass rate has since improved significantly and the school is now an exam centre. She said the biggest beneficiaries of the facelift by Stanbic Bank were grade 7 pupils who previously had to travel long distances during examinations, oftentimes sleeping at the schools which were registered for ZIMSEC during the examination days. From the school’s inception in 2011, till Stanbic Bank intervened, the institution has been well below the radar of any key stakeholder in the community, but its profile has just shot up and we understand some reputable headmasters now want to preside over the running of the school.

Stanbic Bank Acting Head Brand and Marketing, Tariro Memo said the leading financial services institution was pleased to have played its part in uplifting the lives and fortunes of the pupils, the community and its environs. She said: Stanbic Bank has well thought out Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives whose key attribute is premised on changing the lives of its beneficiaries in a sustainable way. Education is one of the pillars under this initiative and the plight of the students moved Stanbic Bank to construct the classroom block, toilets, provide furniture, borehole and water tank. She said that it was heartening to note that the pass rate for the school had improved.

The relationship between Stanbic Bank and Nyarutombo began when the financial services institution went to donate mosquito repellent material in 2018. The visit was an eye-opener as it exposed the bank’s executives to the state of the school. The pupils attended classes in run-down grass-thatched classrooms and had no safe ablution facilities.