DESPITE the agony of not having adequate learning materials, Chitulika Secondary School in Mpika has continued to record a reasonable pass rate.
Teachers and pupils at the learning institution have had to put up with lack of books and a laboratory for a long time now.
The lack of education materials has since become a thing of the past thanks to World Vision which came to the aid of the school when it built a science laboratory and a study library in collaboration with Scotch college of Melbourne in Australia.
Agriculture and Biology teacher George Katongo, explains how challenging teaching has been for him and his fellow teachers as a result of not having a laboratory and adequate text books.
“World Vision has brought a very precious gift to our school. I don’t have words to express my joy as a teacher at this school, the building of the laboratory and the text books will definitely boost the pass rate,” he says
Mr Katongo says the laboratory and the library will not only help the pupils but also the community at large.
He says teachers will also benefit from the library as they will use it for research as they prepare their lesson plans.
Mr Katongo says slow learners will greatly benefit from the library which has enough text books.
“What is also making me happy is that World Vision has provided us with all the basics that we need to conduct our lessons in the science laboratory,” Mr Malama narrates.
Shekaina Malama, a Grade 11 pupil, says the school did not have adequate science equipment and books for reference.
“We form groups when we are using the text books, sometimes groups of ten,” she says.
She says before the laboratory was built, teachers are the ones that used to perform experiments during science lessons pupils would just watch instead of being actively involved.
Shekaina says during final examinations for grade 12s the situation was bad as they were forced to share science apparatus in groups of two and examination practicals would run up to midnight.
“Learning has been slow because we lack text books in all subjects especially science books, some of the pupils do not even know how to speak English,” she says.
Shekaina believes that the situation will change now due to the provision of the library and laboratory.
She says the infrastructure will make other parents change their perception of the school and consider bringing their children to the learning institution.
She narrates that the library has come at the right time for her as she will be going to grade 12 next year and believes she will have good grades in sciences and will study bio-medical at the University of Zambia.
And school head teacher, Mapondo Habuka says the school will never be the same again.
He says it makes him happy that the pupils will now learn science and not about science.
“As the head of this school I take this opportunity to thank World Vision and the college of Scotch for their great work, the infrastructure will help both the pupils and the community,” he says.
Mr Habuka urged Government to send more teachers to the school, adding that the learning institution was also in need of accommodation for staff.
Mr Habuka applauded the work that World Vision has been doing in the provision of development in the country.
He also urged the pupils not to vandalise the new equipment that had been donated by World Vision, saying such a crime would be unforgivable.
Mpika District Commissioner Catherine Chileshe, says education is one of the Patriotic Front Government’s priorities.
Mrs Chileshe says Government will always appreciate the good relationship that exists between itself and World Vision Zambia.
She says the College of Scotch and World Vision Zambia have been helping Mpika District through over the years and that this has had a positive impact on the children of Mpika.
We thank them for their support,” she says.
She advised teachers and management to consider the donated infrastructure as a great privilege which other schools do not have.
“Use the two infrastructure to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and increase the number of pupils who qualify to the next level of education by raising the pass percentage,” she adds.
She ends by urging the community of Chitulika Village to take care of the structures because they will be used to educate their children and the future generations.
World Vision Zambia Associate Director Rose Zambezi says the staff, pupils and the community were supportive of the organisation and helped to clear the land where the laboratory and library were built.
“Chitulika Secondary School stands as a symbol of what we believe in that full and equal access to education should be for both boys and girls in all parts of the country, we strive to meet every child’s aspirations of being educated for life,” she says.
She says all this can only be attained if children have access to better education facilities that enable them attain High literacy levels and essential skills in a conducive learning and teaching environment.
She narrates that World Vision compliments Government’s efforts by building school facilities like laboratories and libraries in schools in rural areas.
Ms Zambezi says World Vision hopes that the provision of such facilities will improve the quality of education delivery and compel many pupils to study and secure their future.
“I wish to thank the Government, who through the ministry of education partnered with us during the implementation of this project, I wish to express my gratitude to Chief Chikwanda and the community members for their resourcefulness,” she concluded.