The new school year is about to begin. In Zambia they are in the middle of the Rainy Season and these days the weather is unpredictable. As in many parts of the world, now the rain, when it comes, is heavier and more persistent than usual. As yet the flooding around Monze is under control although the rain has been very heavy, however more will fall between now and the end of March.
This year the children have planted some crops within the school grounds and are hoping that the rain will provide them with a good harvest. This was possible because, with the help of our supporters, the school is now fenced to prevent animals from eating the produce. The skills learnt in growing food are valuable for the students. In Zambia most families need to provide some of their own food in order to survive on an average of less than £1 a day.
The examination results are now out and twelve grade 7 pupils have passed enabling them to progress with a Basic Education. Three children have qualified to go on to High School. These results are very good in the light of the lack of textbooks. My experience in September made me realise just how much more difficult it is to teach children who cannot follow the lesson with a book.
Mrs. Sianga is keen to give the children as wide an education as possible. Towards the end of the dry season she was able to take the grade 8 and 9 students to Lochinvar which is a national park about 40 km from Monze. (Most students contributed something towards the costs). For most of the children this was a completely new experience. The park is known for the wide variety of birds including Fish Eagles, Malibu Storks and Secretary Birds. It also has a variety of animals including, Buffalo, Zebra and Wildebeest as well as a variety of antelope – the Kafue Lechwe which is unique to this area. Needless to say the children had a wonderful and very memorable day out.
When I meet with the teachers at the school the major concern is the limited teaching materials – particularly textbooks. I hope that during this year we will be able to report a substantial improvement in this situation.
With your help many children are gaining a valuable education and being provided with opportunities to improve their lives. Thank You.