Monday, November 9, 2015

More School Visits in the Bush of Eastern Province

Our visits to schools continued with a visit to Molosi, Mtelwe, Donje and Kavinaka.  We were able to visit the first three villages in one day but due to the distance from Lundazi to Kavinaka we had to make a special trip taking the good part of another day to reach Kavinaka.

I have visited Molosi a few times in the past.  I found out that Mr. Lungu, a long time teacher, had quit teaching, student enrollment had decreased, and only one government teacher remained.  After a conversation with the government teacher I asked if I could speak with Mr. Lungu.  Mr. Lungu came to the school and I encouraged him to start teaching again in the next term.  I am hoping he is able to do so.  He really loves the children and they love him.  I think he became discouraged with the lack of support from the community.

The government school teacher and Mr. Lungu pose with some of the students

Posing with the headman and several villagers
Although I know one of the teachers, Drackson Banda, I had never visited his village.  He was not around to meet us but the headman of the village greeted us enthusiastically. I was encouraged to find out the headman is a retired government-school teacher.  He supports education and is a positive influence on the village in this regard. 
Mabuchi with the volunteer teacher and his young friend
The other teacher is young and enthusiastic.  He seems to love children as evidenced by carrying this young one as we walked along. The school building is finished, complete with a floor and desks but little to no materials.  The school would also like their own borehole so they do not have to share with the village and the cattle.
Cattle line up to get a drink at the borehole

The village itself is clean and the villagers - very industrious.  They have made many blocks to use for constructing new buildings.  Their houses are beautifully well-maintained.  There is much pride in this village.
Some of the thousands of bricks the villagers have made.

Mubuchi poses with some of the teachers including Mr. Zimba in the bright blue shirt

Our final stop for the day was Donje.  I was pleased to greet Chifubu Zimba, a teacher Bob and I have both trained.  He grasps concepts quickly and reports he still uses many of the instructional strategies he learned a couple years ago.  The school has 5 teachers, 2 whom I have trained in the past.  I was unable to observe any classes in session since we arrived late in the day.  The school appears to be growing in this supportive community.  The school however has no floor which become quite muddy in the rainy season and the villagers must walk 2 – 3 kilometers to the stream for water, as they have no borehole.  They are looking forward to continuing the development of their village.

The following day we headed to a very rural village called Kavinaka.  On the way we stopped at this market where the woman pictured here extended her hand into the car and told me I need to buy "this."  I don’t know about you but it looked like some type on dung to me and I couldn’t understand why I would need to buy it.  Mabuchi explained it was floor wax to apply to cement floors.  I told the woman I was sorry but didn't need any wax at this time.  I’m happy to report by the time we returned to the market later that afternoon the woman had sold all her floor wax.

The new school building
We arrived in Kavinaka where  three school buildings and a fourth one is almost completed.  The village plans to tear one of the temporary buildings down when the new school is finished.  There are 3 teachers in the school, one whom I’ve trained in the past. 
The students have no furniture but learning appears to be taking place.  The villagers are grateful to the World Servants, a group from the Netherlands, who started building the school in August.  They also expressed the difference a borehole has made to their daily lives.
Mubuchi poses with the three teachers
CCAP Education Director, Rev Nehemiah Mukwayi
Mr. Moffit Zulu

As I completed the visits to schools in the bush, I have noticed some common themes.  Many communities are making progress regarding school buildings, teacher houses, and boreholes thanks to the tireless effort of the CCAP Education Department (Rev. Mukwayi and Mr. Zulu) and efforts to coordinate with partners in Europe, Canada and the US. The District Education Boards (DEBS) office seems to be responding to school needs with various materials and even some reading programs.  Many villages however still do not have a borehole, electricity, needed school materials or a way to compensate their volunteer teachers.  Much work and training is still needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment