A desperate need for desks
The new Zambian government is prioritising education. They have made primary and secondary education free for all which has encouraged an influx of extra pupils into schools. Along with this they are increasing the number of teachers and helping them to be better qualified. Schools were already short of classrooms and of desks in particular. This is even more the case now.
On our last day in Siavonga, we had a meeting with DEBS (District Education Board Secretary) to identify the schools most in need of solar power and to report back on the internet capabilities of the schools taking part in the Learning to Learn Project. She mentioned that girls often stay away from school rather than sit on the floor. We discovered that Siavonga High School has a carpentry department which, amongst other things, refurbishes old desks, adding new wood to their metal frames. We are looking at ways to help them provide this service to local schools, many of which have old frames available.