Like most schools in Africa, we have more classes than classrooms, and have to operate a double shift system — with some classes learning in the morning and others learning in the afternoon.
To help us provide a better service to local families, we are making an important change during December, before the new school year begins in January.
We are converting our largest staff house into a dedicated Early Years centre. This will enable us to provide education and care to 25 three- and four-year olds for the whole day (from 7.00am – 4.00pm) in their own private, specialised space.
It will cost us $1,000 to convert and decorate the interior, and $1,500 to add a covered area outside to provide dry outdoor play and learning in the rainy season and shade in the hot months— and to fence the garden so that it is safe and secure all year round.
It’s difficult to buy proper safe outside play equipment in Zambia for small children, so we are planning to use recycled tires and wood to build our own play area.
These important works mean we will be able to use the room the early years children are vacating for older children, but we need $600 to buy 40 second-hand chairs and desks for this room.
The changes mean that, finally, all our upper primary school classes can learn at the same time each morning, all our lower primary classes can learn at the same time each afternoon — and all our secondary classes can benefit from a full days’ schooling.