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.
After a disastrous start, including two key members unable to fly out with us due to Covid, things are looking up. We started the day with Howard demonstrating the equipment we brought with us for use with the project. The whole project was made possible thanks to a grant from the Welsh Government Wales and Africa Grant Scheme.
All teachers then joined us at Lake Safari Lodge for a virtual “Meet and Greet” with Beth and Lisa. They gave an overview of the proposed learning program and we gathered some baseline data to help our later evaluation.
Then all enjoyed socializing over snacks and soft drinks.
Thanks for making this possible go to Welsh Government for their award of a grant under the WalesandAfrica Grant Scheme.
We have just set up Giakonda Solar Schools YouTube channel which contains training videos we make from time to time.
So far there are videos on aspects of LibreOffice Writer, created by Howard and one of our Zambian partner teachers Francis; and videos on updating Raspberry Pi operating system. Many more to follow.
Please visit and subscribe. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJzpDvVZRwInL3ay6sKMD5Q
We’ve had a fantastic response to the setting up of our Zambian Science teachers WhatsApp group. members are using it as a forum to share schemes of work, lesson plans and to seek clarifiction on things they’re unsure of.
Over 40 members joined in the first week.
Howard has started this term’s training which is intended as an introduction to Spreadsheets. This will use Libre Office Calc.
He delivers weekly Zoom sessions for teachers in Siavonga, Zambia .
The notes can be downloaded from our resources page. Feel free to use them and share any comments with us.
We’re pleased with the training that Howard delivered this autumn. We raised funds to reward 8 teachers with a Raspberry Pi computer to practise what they learned. The equipment arrived safely and is being put to good use.
Several teachers have already signed up for Spring 2021 when the focus will be on LibreOffice Calc and Writer.