The Primary School
At the end of 2019 we floated the idea of enhancing the ECD (Early Child Development – Ages 4 – 5) provision by forming a primary school. However before we could get plans off the ground Covid struck. The Zimbabwe government shut all schools for the whole of 2020 and 2021, but we did start construction of school buildings in 2021, so that at the beginning of 2022 we could start enrolling students.
We initially planned to enrol 20 children into the school and have them registered with the Ministry of Education. However on the Saturday morning that we had set aside for student registration, over 70 children and their mothers arrived. We were faced with the problem of choosing some children and rejecting others.
Our solution to this problem was to enrol the 20 children into normal morning school covering 8 subjects, while having the remaining 50 children attend supplementary lessons in the afternoons in age appropriate Maths and English. We published workbooks for each grade and each child so that we could do this.
In May we increased the enrolment from the initial twenty children, to 55 children, in response to the dedication that the afternoon children had shown.
The levels of illiteracy in the community are very high. We have a variety of ages of children with a literacy age off around six years old. This has a massive impact on all areas of the curricula, as reading across the curriculum is a vital part of learning.
However we have developed a literacy improvement emergency curriculum, and this is now bearing fruit.
The School also gives a wonderful window into helping the health and wellbeing of the people in the community. Some of the problems encountered are epilepsy, eyesight, and developmental issues, which have been easily helped by contacting the appropriate experts / charities.
We have also been able to make significant inroads into the registration of the community. As the mothers start to have hope about the future of their children, the importance of obtaining birth certificates and other documentation has become clear.