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.
At Sianyoolo we were pleased to see the school in line of sight with two powerful masts. They should easily be able to connect in to the fortnightly mentoring sessions. Two teachers from this school will be involved.
Finally we visited Kabuyu Primary. Mr McCloud from the school regularly joins our zoom training but there are connectivity issues at the school which we will be working to solve.
Thanks to Ms Ephe Hambabangolwe, the District Education Board Secretary, we secured the use of the official landcruiser to visit some of the other schools involved in the Learn to Learn project.
We first visited Siamwiinga School where we had installed solar panels in March 2021. We hadn’t actually checked out the installation due to COVID restrictions so it was good to see everything in good condition.
Teachers and pupils helped mount an external wireless antenna which will boost internet signal for the school.
Next on to Chaanga, a large secondary school with solar panels for power and for a water pump.
The headteacher was very positive about the project and felt it is very much needed. The school has weekly boarding places for vulnerable girls who return home at weekends.
Some of the teachers were unfamiliar with the Raspberry Pi 400 computers that we’d supplied so Howard spent some time demonstrating its features. We also invited them to join in our weekly ICT tutorial sessions.
We supplied a router for which they will need to purchase data bundles.
On Wednesday we visited one of the less accessible schools, Munyama. When Mr Richard Mabunde tried to get home from Monday’s training by motorbike he found himself in a flood and needed local children to help him get the bike through.We chose to go by speedboat which was the other option and were lucky to find the lake calm and without waves.
Our main purpose was to check out the best place in the school area to access internet. Munyama is one of the schools chosen to pilot a learning to learn scheme which will mentor teachers in ways to encourage pupils to attend and achieve in school. We were pleased to see good care being taken of the solar panels and RACHEL learning resources being connected and used.
We were treated to fish and nshima before listening to the very talented Munyama School Choir. These are very impressive young singers, coached by a volunteer teacher.
Thanks for making this possible go to Welsh Government for their award of a grant under the WalesandAfrica Grant Scheme.
Thanks to funding from Welsh Government through their Wales and Africa Grant Scheme, we are proceeding with our pilot Learning to Learn Project.
Its aim is to motivate all pupils, but particularly girls, to attend school regularly, have a more positive attitude to school and to themselves, have high aspirations and and achieve their full potential.
We will do this through online sessions with a selected group of teachers showing them activities and tactics to create a different learning environment.
The grant covers the necessary IT equipment to facilitate these sessions and enable monitoring and recording of results.
SOUTHEN NAQEZ HAPPY WITH OUTSTANDING G12 PROVINCIAL RESULTS .
The National Action for Quality Education in Zambia in Southern Province is extremely happy with the performance of 2020 grade 12 candidates for southern province. At 70.5% pass rate,the province has once again beaten all the Provinces in Zambia for the third consecutive year.
While they congratulate all the candidates who passe , NAQEZ feels that the teachers of Southern Province deserve to be commended and emulated. They are calling on the Teaching Service Commission(TSC) to quickly confirm and upgrade teachers who have been waiting for many years .This will motivate them for greater results.
The Ministry of Finance is further requested to increase funding to the education sector so that the Ministry of General Education can afford more teachers , buy desks, books and many more teaching and learning materials. The Laboratory equipment must also be procured to realise quality implementation of the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) agenda.