Creating space to learn at Zambezi Community School

Your generous support means plans are progressing well to build new classrooms for children at Zambezi Sawmills Community School, Livingstone.

Existing classrooms are unable to cope with growing pupil numbers.

“Class sizes are too big” explains Senior Teacher Mweetwa. “It is very frustrating that we do not have enough one-on-one time with children who are struggling.

Children are spending less time learning, because the rooms have to be shared by so many other grades. Parents in the surrounding community want to bring their children to school, but sadly there is no more space.”

Children in Grade 5

Grade 5 at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

No walls and no desks for the Grade 3 children learning in the ‘teaching shelter’ with Teacher Nelson

Teacher Nelson and Grade 3 at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

Our projects are driven by the local community. Our Senior Community Development Officer Jones Samwenda has been liaising with the school and the local community to scope out the project:

“The school is around 5km south of the centre of Livingstone in an area called Dambwa Site and Service. It is in the biggest ward in Livingstone with around 23,000 vulnerable households.

There is great demand on the school. It already operates a shift system to help support as many children as possible, with pupils either attending school in the morning or the afternoon.

Children in Grades 1, 6 and 7 are given preference to receive five hours of teaching – Grade 1 as the foundation for learning, Grade 6 to prepare for exams, which are then taken in Grade 7. This means that children in the other grades receive less learning than they should.

When we first started liaising with the school there were 706 pupils. Now enrolment is at 902, with 165 of those children orphaned.”

Build It Senior Development Office Jones out and about in the local community

Jones in Dambwa south

Local resident Mrs Zulu has four grandchildren at Zambezi Sawmills Community School who will benefit from the new facilities

Mrs Zulu has four grandchildren at Zambezi Sawmills Community School

The school is ambitious and well organised. There is strong leadership from Head Teacher Mrs Belita Zulu, and a supportive local community represented by Mr Patrick Namakando, Chairperson of the Parent Teacher Committee.

With your help we will build three classrooms, plus a dedicated computer classroom. We will also construct a 6-cubicle latrine block.

The community has pledged to contribute 15% materials and provide labour to help with excavations.

We look forward to sharing regular updates when the project starts in the summer.