Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Tour of Schools in and Around Kitwe

When I visited the Copperbelt in November I heard there might be one or two other community schools here but no one knew for sure.  Our goal today– visit any CCAP community school or potential school and gain as much information about them as possible.

Private School children play on the Wusakile Community School playfield
Our first stop was Wusakile Community School, a new CCAP school meeting in the church building.  We found an energetic young teacher and six grade one and two students, although the teacher reports they have as many as 15. Seeing that the group was so small and the teacher so eager to learn I asked if I might demonstrate a lesson. 
Students return from drawing a flower
I did an impromptu version of my parts of the plant lesson. The students and the teacher enjoyed it.  The teacher was able to explain several strategies I modeled and which ones she might incorporate in her teaching. Mabuchi and I noticed the students had no pencils only a few crayons to share and a few pieces of white paper instead of the traditional exercise books. I always wonder how teachers manage under such conditions.
Teaching how to turn and talk

Watching as the teacher tries
The teacher takes over - an active member of the church looks on

Pastor, teacher, students, Mabuchi and other school/church leaders of Wusakile
The church also rents part of the building to a private school of 120 students pre-school through grade seven. The money they collect contributes to the CCAP community school teacher’s stipend and a bit goes toward building a permanent structure for the community school.  Since the church already has a wall around the perimeter, some space, and a guard at the gate, a “pay to park” parking area has been proposed as another income generating idea.

Two of the four classes meeting in the church of Hosanna School
Our tour continued with a stop at Hosanna Community School.  It is not a CCAP school but they would like to join and benefit from training and resources available through CCAP. Currently they rent from a church but would like to move to a CCAP building where they could teach at no charge. The school has four volunteer teachers and about 150 students.  They meet in a dark and stuffy building where the surface of the blackboards are so worn the chalk struggles to adhere. 

Making a suggestion to a willing teacher
Mabuchi and I walked around observing each teacher.  I stopped to watch the head teacher with his grade 7 students.  He had several strategies in place but with a few tweaks he could engage his students even more.  I asked him if I could model a couple methods that might help the students learn better.  He gladly let me try and then jumped back in, incorporated the strategies and continued the lesson.  I did this one more time and he picked up the concepts quickly and continued. 
Teacher starts to understand the power of student discussion

Mabuchi watched and I told her this was a form of coaching that she could try. A few minutes later I saw her with another teacher modeling and then stepping aside, modeling and stepping aside.  Her years of experience and intuition make her a natural in this position.
Mabuchi models "turn and talk"

Mabuchi watches as the teacher tries
The enthusiastic grade 2 and 3 teacher continues with math
Mabuchi with teachers, a community member, our host (in back) and Pastor Zimba of Kwacha church.

CCAP would like to help Hosanna school and has suggested using Kawama, a church with lots of land for a school building.  Kawama is located near the current location of Hosanna and the school could use the building for free.
Doors of the church

The land goes almost to the trees in the background

6 cuties who attend the private school at Cimwemwe
In November while visiting Kwacha school I also visited Chimwemwe Church where a community school is planned but not without an income generating source first.  The church is building a venue for receptions or parties and the proceeds from the profit would first help construct a school building and later pay the teachers.  Currently the church rents some space to a private pre-school with six students.
Rev Nkhoma
Some may remember I lost my dear friend Rev. Kondwani Nkhoma in June, the former CCAP community schools coordinator.  Once she transferred to the Copperbelt I had promised to visit her but the opportunity came too late. 
Mabuchi poses in front of the church
I fulfilled my promise in a small way today by visiting her church and home in Kalulushi.  I met the new pastor and his wife, Pastor and Mrs. Zimba.  It turns out I met Pastor Zimba when Karl Klontz and Shane were instilling solar panels on Indepedence Day at Chasefu Seminary back in October.  Yes, it’s a small world.  Kalulushi would like to start a community school as well.
Rev and Mrs. Zimba posing in front of their house where Kondwani once lived

Mabuchi and I returned to our guesthouse and started planning for the training next week.
This entry was written a couple days ago but internet has been slow or unavailable so I am just now able to publish.  

No comments:

Post a Comment