Mkoba 4 Primary School has a special needs class that our volunteers visit and assist with every week. With a school of approximately 2000 children in size, there is a considerable amount of ancillary support that is required, particularly within a day-to-day classroom environment. Most notably, there is limited staffing support and in classes ranging from40 to 50 children in size; it is quite common for class members to fall behind in their work. When this happens, they are transferred to the special needs class and this is where we assist. We provide one-on-one support in the subjects where scholars are struggling, the objective of this being to bridge the gap and accelerate their learning.
We are pleased when the results of our efforts make a difference and in carrying out this sentiment, we are proud to announce that 19 out of the 23 students in the Special Needs Class for 2014 have been promoted back into mainstream schooling. This is an achievement that has been accomplished through sheer dedication and commitment from everyone involved! Congratulations on a job well done!
“After spending the year 2014 in the special needs class, the students sat for an examination that would determine their fate for the coming academic year. Out of the 23 that were assessed, 19 made it and graduated/were promoted to join the mainstream or regular classes. Students were examined in the following subjects – Maths, English, Shona and General Paper with an aggregate of 400 marks. The criteria were that those who attain 200 or more marks pass and leave the special needs. 15 scored more than 200 marks and 4 were promoted on the merit of their ages and the length of the period they have been in the special needs, for some it has been over a year. Only 4 remained in the special needs to be joined by new students” says one of our AEC teachers, Staben Porovha.
One of our volunteers, Beryl Robinson, who is enrolled in the Orphan Care and Teaching Project hailing from England, tells us about recent progress in the Special Needs class at Mkoba 4 Primary School. She shared with how she provided valuable cross-cultural education to the children by bringing gifts, letters, and pictures with her from the children at Heathfield Primary School in Darlington, England.
“I talked to the class about the letters showing them pictures of the children from England. After handing each child a letter, I took photographs of the children here at Mkoba Primary to take back with me to England. They read the letter or were helped to read them noting what kind of things they children had written. I then did a session on what they could tell their new friends writing them on the chalkboard. They practiced writing a letter on plain paper where it was corrected before writing neatly on coloured paper. Once finished, they made bracelets to send to their new friends. It worked really well and all the children were included.”
We are very proud of the progress made in the Mkoba Primary Special Needs Class and are particularly grateful to all of the volunteers that make this project possible. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our Zimbabwean children!