Zambia needs thousands of new classrooms. However as well as building classrooms, we also build accommodation for teachers at many of our school projects. This is essential in attracting teachers who are trained and qualified to more rural communities, helping to give local children a higher standard of education.
We have met a number of inspirational teachers in the communities we have worked with, like Head Teacher Doreen Nzila at Linda Community School (pictured above, image by Jennifer Bruce for Communication for Development Ltd).
When Doreen first arrived she found the grounds littered with rubbish, the bookshelves empty and that fewer than 200 of the school’s 2,000 children could read with any degree of confidence.
“Can you imagine, you’re born poor and then you die poor, simply because you weren’t exposed to some of the things life has to offer?” said Doreen. “That was not in my vision.”
Build It built a science lab for Linda School so that the children could sit and pass their exams. “We want to create doctors in our community, and a science lab is the best way to do it.” said Doreen. By the time the last nail had been hammered into the roof, Doreen had got the lab fully equipped.
As well as the children benefiting from the new lab, the teachers are also enjoying their new surroundings.”Even our teachers were inspired to develop their science careers,” Doreen adds. “I now have three teachers furthering their studies in Science and Mathematics at the University of Zambia. I am a happy Head Teacher!”
Happy teachers are a valuable resource. We recently went back to Katuba Community School where we built a two-classroom block and a teacher’s house.
Before the new school was built “…neither me, as father, nor my children saw any point in going to school” said one community member.
“The teachers were not educated, there were no books and there was no order. The children did what they want, and the teachers were not in control of the classroom. This meant that most of the time neither children or parents were interested in going to school.
“This has totally changed with the construction of the new school and better support for teachers. When the community is very busy with farming, we require all man power available to cultivate our fields and we want our children to help us out. These days though, they are refusing to come to the fields with us, because they don’t want to miss school!”