SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT

Our aim is to increase the capacity of schools to meet the needs of the communities that they serve.


All the schools surrounding our project sites are severely resource limited with classes that are over-crowded and lacking educational materials.  Our projects therefore focus on:

·  School building and refurbishment to create improved learning environments;
·  Resource provision of educational materials needed to enhance lessons;
·  Teacher assistance to help teachers plan and run lessons more effectively.

All programmes are operated in agreement with the school in question, and with approval from relevant educational boards. 


GWERU, ZIMBABWE


Mkoba 4 Primary School is a Government run school providing education for approximately 2200 students.  The school has 62 qualified teachers, and 45 student teachers.   Due to the high number of students, there is a critical shortage of classrooms and resources such as textbooks and teaching aids. To deal with the large number of students the school authorities introduced “hot seating” where each student attends either a morning or afternoon class, which negatively impacts on student / teacher interaction.  The school is in need for additional classrooms and resources.

Particular support is provided to assist with the school's special needs classes.  The school currently has one qualified teacher for a class of 24 children, aged 9-14 years, with a variety of learning disabilities.  These classes aim to provide more individual attention to these children, offering additional help to achieve the standards required for national educational assessment.  Manpower and resources are also provided to help the school engage with the nationally required PLAP (Performance Lag Address Programme) assessment across the school.  This process identifies children who are experiencing challenges acquiring acceptable competency skills in English and Maths, so that additional help can be targeted towards those children. 

2010:  A volunteer programme launched to attract individuals from around the world to assist the staff at the school.
2011:  Drilling of a borehole and installation of a water tank.  Provision of a computer to assist lessons.
2012:  Desks made for special needs class, textbooks and exercise books, sports equipment, computers and stationery provided.
2013:  18 students in the special needs class able to return to mainstream classes as a result of their improvement over the past year.
2014:  14 students in the special needs class able to return to mainstream classes as a result of their improvement over the past year.
2015:  Project volunteers devoted over 1,100 hours to assisting the special needs teacher in the classroom during 2015.  As a result of the extra help the 2015 class of 21 children received, 14 of them are able to re-join mainstream education in 2016.
2016:  Agreement for ALERT/AP to implement AEC Book and Maths Clubs to further assist in improving literacy and numeracy competency in children attending this school.


Mudavanhu School for the Disabled specialises in providing essential life skills and education for children with mild to moderate mental disability.  The school currently has 24 children and 8 full-time members of staff.  Some children are boarded at the school, some at a hostel a little distance from the school, and some are day students.  The school provides life skills classes in self-care (e.g. toileting, feeding, self-hygiene, name recognition) and managing a home (e.g. laundry, cooking, hygiene, safety), as well as education in literacy, maths, science, computing, sports, and vocational projects (e.g. gardening, sewing, arts & crafts).  All lessons are designed to meet the national curriculum where possible, but mainly to facilitate coordination, movement, cognition, and give children the skills and coping mechanisms to integrate into mainstream society, where possible.  Children are assessed and streamed into levels in accordance with ability rather than chronological age.

The individual demands of students can be very high (especially at level 1), and available resources are scarce, expensive, and not always optimal for delivering the skills necessary for this school to meet its aims easily and optimally.  The school achieves some self-generated revenue through the selling of crafts made by the children as part of their facilitated education.

2012:  A volunteer programme launched to attract individuals from around the world to assist the staff at the school.
2015:  Groceries valued at $1200 donated to the school to provide meals for the children


Takunda Primary School has 54 qualified teachers, and an intake of over 1910 children, although its capacity is for 1600.  Due to the high number of students, there is a critical shortage of classrooms and resources such as textbooks and teaching aids. To deal with the large number of students the school authorities introduced “hot seating” where each student attends either a morning or afternoon class, which negatively impacts on student / teacher interaction.  The school is in need for additional classrooms and resources.

2016:   A volunteer programme launched to attract individuals from around the world to assist the staff at the school.


Mickey Mouse Pre-School currently serves 230 children, aged 3-5 years, with 7 qualified teachers, and 10 student teachers.  The school has no specific catchment area, and offers places to those in the Mkoba area for a fee of $20 per month.  The school offers a social and educational programme to prepare young children for school.  It does so using the national curriculum, with prescribed educational content and assessment, to ensure children are able to master basic skills, such as language development, before their entrance into Grade 1 at school.  The school has challenges regarding the volume of students and the number of available teaching staff, as well as limited resources.  

2010:  A volunteer programme was launched to attract individuals from around the world to assist the staff at the school.
2012:  Two new classrooms built at the school.


 LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA


Maunga Primary School is located in the rural Maunga community comprising of 8 villages and a population of nearly 2000. Family income levels in this area are low, and so many children are growing up surrounded by extreme poverty in very difficult circumstances.  Maunga Primary School is the only school (other than preschools) in the area, and needless to say is stretched beyond its means to cater for such a large catchment area.  Nearly 200 children are taught at this school by 6 teachers.  

Currently the school is only able to provide education up to grade 7 (aged 14). To complete their compulsory education up to grade 9 (aged 16), pupils must travel a minimum of 20km to the nearest available school.  As a result many do not attend, staying at home or often opting to work in illegal activities such as poaching.  Additional school buildings on the existing school site will release pressure on the current infrastructure and crucially allow for the provision of teaching at grades 8 and 9, thereby increasing educational standards and providing the community’s children with a better future.  

2010:  So that the school was able to employ an additional teacher, and therefore reduce pressure on the existing staff, a new building was erected to accommodate the new staff member.  Football kit provided to the school team.
2011:  Launch of the Maunga Kids Club (Basic Life Skills).  New desks were provided to the school to replace broken and dilapidated furniture.  Aside from providing a safer and more comfortable environment, larger desks also lessen crowding, allowing for a more productive learning experience.
2012:  A volunteer programme was launched to attract individuals from around the world to come to the school for extended periods to act as teaching assistants, and therefore support the school’s staff in their duties.
2014:  Grant awarded to the school to cover the costs of children participating in a local inter-school sports event.  Refurbishments made throughout the school.
2015:  Building has commenced on a new classroom block with 2 rooms to accommodate grade 8 and 9 classes.  Launch of the Maunga Book Club (English Literacy).


Twabuka Primary School serves the Sinde community in the Simonga rural area of Livingstone.  Five teachers have use of five classrooms to teach 224 pupils that attend the school.  A pre-school has an additional 80 children enrolled.  The school is served by four toilet blocks, a kitchen and dining area, a well and a borehole.  The school also has its own egg project with 140 chickens providing eggs to the school and for sale to the local community to raise funds for the school.

2012:  Launch of the Twabuka Book Club (English Literacy)
2014:  Grant awarded to the school to cover the costs of children participating in a local inter-school sports event.


Natebe Community School is located 12km from Livingstone town in the rural Kangongo Village of the Natebe area.  Here, a subsistence community supports the school with what they can put together to give their children an education.  The school teaches from pre-school to grade 7 (14 years) and has a current enrolment of 116 students.  The school however has just one classroom block with two classes.

2013:  Launch of the Natebe Kids Club (Basic Life Skills).
2015:  Launch of the Natebe Book Club (English Literacy).  Building commenced for a new classroom for grade 7 thanks to generous donations by staff of the New South Wales Land & Housing Corporation.


Maunga Pre-School was a small temporary gazebo that was largely unusable during the long rainy season and was without electricity or running water.  Up to 40 children are enrolled at the Pre-School, with community members volunteering to act teachers.

2014:  The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust and the Estelle Trust each donated £3,500, to build Maunga Pre-School. A new custom-built classroom ensures the school’s activities run continuously throughout the year, allowing more emphasis to be placed on the importance of pre-school learning at a time of significant physical and cognitive development. Numerous children in developing countries fail to reach their development potential which contributes to intergenerational transmission of poverty. Pre-school in the early years can reduce this problem and ensure that children arrive at school sufficiently prepared for a learning and social environment.


VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE


Monde Primary School is located 20km from Victoria Falls Town, and has an enrolment of over 300 children from the age of 5 to 14 years, that are taught in 7 classrooms by 8 teachers.  Many of the kids at this school are orphaned and cannot afford to pay school fees. Monde primary is a community school and teachers are not always available for all grades whilst resources and funding are very limited.  This is the closest primary school for the Monde area, but some kids still have to walk 8km to get there. 

2011:  A volunteer programme launched to attract individuals from around the world to assist the staff at the school.
2012:  A refurbishment program was commenced that included repainting of school buildings.  A computer and printer were donated to Monde School along with stationary and sports equipment.
2013:  Refurbishment of Monde School continued with further repainting of school buildings, the installation of security systems to protect the school’s educational assets and the provision of new classroom furniture.  Text books and stationary were provided, and the school fees of the most at risk children were paid.
2015:  690 volunteer hours spent during the year assisting the teachers deliver lessons, and operating a holiday club outside of term time.  The school created a special-needs class, and ALERT Intern Yana van Camp was able to use her experience in this field to assist the school establish and operate the class during the three months of her placement.  Repairs were also made to the floors of three of the school’s classrooms, and 28 new and refurbished benches were provided to replace broken classroom furniture.


Chikamba Primary School opened in 2013 with 4 teachers utilising temporary thatched buildings that were built by the community.  Permanent structures are being built by another organization, however the school requested assistance to build a secure library / storeroom structure to house the school's resources to avoid loss and damage.

2015:  Completion of the library / storeroom.  The building was handed over to the community at a ceremony in January 2016. 


Chinotimba Pre-School caters to 49 students aged between 2 and 6 years old; many of these children are orphans or come from single-parent families, and often do not have the ability to pay school fees. Despite the financial need of the school, Principal Mrs. Nyathi and her two staff members have made the decision to waiver the costs for children and allow them to attend school.

2015:  A volunteer programme launched to attract individuals from around the world to assist the staff at the school.  330 volunteers hours were devoted during the year to helping teachers plan and give lessons, as well arranging a field trip to see the Victoria Falls, and preparing for the end of year graduation ceremony.

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