Saturday, July 30, 2011

Zambezi International Green School - Opening Soon!!!

Great news from Zambia! We are close to opening the first phase of our green school here in Zambia. In order to kick start the project we have agreed to rent a building in Livingstone where we are going to open a per-school and nursery section. We have been working with various partners over the past few weeks and things are looking good right now!

Of course our aim is to build our own school on the banks of the Zambezi and we also have good news on that front. After much delay we are now (hopefully) near to securing the title deeds for the land. This is a vital aspect of our project - Madonna's schools project in Malawi collapsed as she failed to gain land rights! All being well we will be opening our secondary section in Sept 2012/Jan 2013 on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River!

Right now we are looking for volunteers to work with us on various aspects of the project. Firstly we are looking for Early Years Learning/ Pre School teachers to work with us at our ZIGS, Livingstone. Qualified teachers looking for a fresh challenge or anyone who fancies a gap year or internship should get in touch. We are not in a postion to pay more than an allowance but can offer the chance to work for a project that will really make a difference in children's lives!

For our purpose built secondary school we seek an archetect with genuine green credentials to work with us in designing the school. It is an exciting opportunity as we can offer the right person a carte blanche in the resepct of design in a genuine wilderness setting. If you know such a person ask them to contact us!!!

Soon we will be recruiting teachers and an array of support staff for ZIGS. Please consider what you might be able to do to help us with this amazing project or pass on this e mail to friends!!!

Thanks for all your support!!!

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Phone: 00260 973312390 (Adrian) 00260 978626719 (Betty)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The quality of education in Zambia

The Post, Zambia's biggest selling daily newspaper, carries a story today reporting that the Catholic Church has expressed concern on the quality of education provided in schools. This comes to know surprise to those of us associated with the Thembinkosi Foundation and the Zambezi International Green School.

The newspaper reports that the Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) spokesperson Father Paul Samasumo has said that many basic and community schools had been established to enhance universal access to basic education. However, he said this had not matched the required investment in human resource (teachers) and infrastructure thus putting a serious strain on the products of these schools. Fr Samasumo also said most basic and community schools did not have the necessary infrastructure such as science laboratories and pupils in these schools leave school without seeing the inside of one. He said even though there were efforts to improve the quality of education, a lot more needed to be done. Fr Samasumo said there was need to motivate teachers and reduce the teacher pupil ratio which sometimes reached 60 pupils against one teacher.
“Most of us, even politicians they were inspired to be what they are today because of a teacher, but what happens if a class has 60 pupils and the teacher does not even know all of them. There is need to employ more teachers and provide incentives to retain the ones already working. There are many teachers who are walking the streets because they are unemployed,” he said.

This story clearly indicates an underlining problem with well meaning but hugely misguided Millennium Development Goal to establish Universal Primary Education by 2015. Unfortunately this has led to a focus on getting 'bums on seats' rather than a drive to improve the quality of education in Zambia and across the developing world.

He said another area that needed to be looked into was the curriculum in Zambia.
Fr Samasumo said pupils should be able to have skills to survive on when they complete school.
He said pupils should be prepared for the future while in secondary school because not every pupil had the capacity to go to university. Fr Samasumo said pupils should be prepared to work in factories and industries upon completion of school.