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Meet the teachers . . .

. . . from Kakumbi Basic School

In 2010 we asked some of the teachers to describe some of the problems they and the children face daily.  Below are extracts from their letters. 
 
Kakumbi now has some new teachers making a total of nine in all. Mrs Mwale is still the Headmistress but many of the teachers have been moved on to other schools.  Elijah Tembo remains along with Anna Chola and Paul Mbewe.
 
 Tasila Tonga Mwale
 
"My name is Tasila Tonga and I am married with two sons and I am keeping two girls, who are orphans. Karen Beattie and David Hopson visited our school and we were really glad to see them. 
 
Children at our school face a lot of difficulties and they have to walk long distances.  Most of them have no uniforms or shoes for them to wear to school.  The school has over 400 pupils and only 5 rooms to accommodate them.  The pupils could double if we had enough classrooms and staff houses. We are forced to over-enrol each year because parents have realised the importance of education." 

Elijah Mwale

"I am married to a beautiful lady known as Tasila Tonga [the headmistress] and we have two children named Rabin and Zachariah, aged 7 and 3 years. We have many challenges here in our profession. Due to poor infrastructure we teach pupils of different ages in the same class. Most classes are more than 60 pupils. Teachers face problems of over enrolment and this makes it difficult to teach the slow learners.
 
Accomodation is another problem . . . many teachers have no house and have to rent [huts] in the villages. Many pupils are orphans and depend on donor meals. most come to school without eating anything."

Philimon Moses Mwale

"About myself: I am a male Zambian teacher  . . .35 years old and married with three children, one girl and two boys. My friends, schools here are different from those you have in Europe.
 
I teach grade 3 and have 72 children crowded in one classroom. Desks are not enough and there is no lighting system.  The ages of my pupils is 12 to 15 years. These children have difficulties in buying school essentials." 
 
 

Betty Kapensa

"My name is Betty Kapensa and I am 30 years old. I don't have accomodation near the school, instead I am renting a house four kilometers away.
 
I have 65 pupils in Grade 2 and find it difficult to concentrate on the slow learners.
We don't have enough learning and teaching materials, eg. books reading books, charts, paints, crayons, water colours, or story books. About half my class are orphans, either double or one parent." 
 Anna Lubinga Chola
 
"I am handling a class of 76 pupil, the learners cannot be divided because there is no other classroom. The pupils do not have enough textbook; they share 10 textbooks amongst 76 pupils.
 
They have no uniform and no books because they have no parents. Since the classrooms are overcrowded the furtiture we have is not enough; pupils have to sit on the floor. Children do not have enough pens, pencils, exercise and textbooks and we have no teaching aids . . . . no electricity. We use candles to write our lesson plans for the next day."
Cecilia Chulu Micheal
 
"My name is Cecilia Chulu Micheal. I am single and 25 years old. Currently I am a teacher at Kakumbi school teaching Grade 1.  These are the difficulties and challenges I am facing in my career as a teacher:
 
So many pupils in the class hence it is difficult to teach effectively. Pupils have no uniforms as most of them have no parents. I have problems of few teaching and learning materials such as exercise books, pencils, crayons, wallcharts, and textbooks. Teachers' houses are not in good condition." 
Paul Mwembe
 
"I am 29 years old  . . . currently a teacher [at Kakumbi]. I joined the career with the passion of a Zambian child in the year 2005. 
Challenges faced in my career are teaching 72 children in one classroom, inadequate teaching and learning materials such as exercise books, wall charts, pencils and pens for the children and most of the children are orphaned.
 
There are no extra evening lessons because the school is not powered  . . .so solar equipment would be of great help. Learning is made difficult due to the above named causes. It is my hope that one day these things can be ironed out."

 

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