Lorraine Mapuranga’s story continues…profile 7, part 3…her student experience at Pakati Secondary

I come again to talk more about my life experiences at Pakati in the early 1990s. When i was at Pakati Secondary school I remember we had 4 blocks with 2 classrooms in each block. We used wooden benches at which we would sit 4 or 5 pupils per bench.. 2 benches and one desk This was very uncomfortable though I can not really tell how long the benches were.

So we were grouped mostly according to perfomance, thus group 1 for the best students group 2 ,3 and 4 which of course had the worst students. We usually were about 40 to 50 students in a class and in many cases we had 4 textbooks in each subject..meaning the ratio was 1 text book between 12 to 15 students… it was not easy because we then used to read the book upside down from the other angle. We could still not take the text books home because the teachers still used those.

It appears little has changed since Lorraine’s time at Pakati

Generally all I am saying is we did not have enough stationery and furniture for all the students. Imagine spending so many hours with this seating arrangement . We could copy notes from the blackboard or the teachers would dictate while you jot down. This made it so difficult for slow learner students who would end up borrowing notes from other students, not knowing whether they were correct notes or not…

Despite all these challenges I mentioned above, the teachers were very determined to teach us as best they could, and most of them if not all were results oriented. During the 1990s we started seeing a reasonable number of students passing their ZJC (Zimbabwe Junior Certificate – end of Form 2 exams) and O levels unlike in the previous years.

For sports, we had a football pitch which we could use as well for athletics during the respective seasons. We participated well within the school and as well competed with other schools in our zone. We had some talented students who could make the school proud and go on to represent the school at national level. I still remember Juliana Chiroodza was one of the outstanding students in sports during those years.

Unfortunately on the sport side many parents did not manage to buy sportswear for their children, and students ended up going for practise sessions in their school uniforms. There was an occasion where Julianna represented the school in the National competitions, and the Head agreed to use school sports fees to fund a new athletics kit for her.

Cleaning of the school yard, classrooms and ablution facilities. This was done by students through the duty rosters and coordinated by school prefects. This was good for us as students because it taught us some life responsibilities, but on the ablution side it was a challenge, because sometimes we did not have the right equipment to use, e.g. gloves, disinfectants and protective clothing. This left us as kids vulnerable to diseases at some point.

Observations….During this period of the early 90s we did not have electricity at the school, meaning that we did not have access to IT and so e-learning was just a dream to us.

Comments…. I greatly appreciate the authorities for making efforts to put electricity at the school, which now means if the resources are available IT will be very essential so that Pakati school will at least match the standards of the schools in the zone, such as St Pauls Musami and Chemhondoro, where they currently have IT. Looking at this modern world it will be of paramount importance for Pakati to have computers. I still think more could have been done to improve and nurture some different talents since not all students are academically talented.



My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005.

2 thoughts on “Lorraine Mapuranga’s story continues…profile 7, part 3…her student experience at Pakati Secondary

  1. Well said Lorraine,,, thank you. But I think some fundraising initiatives can go a long way in improving the situation at our beloved community school.

    1. Thank you for your comment Brenda! As you will see from the website I am doing exactly that – fundraising, specifically towards the IT equipment Lorrainr rightly highlights as needed at both Pakati Schools. Regards, Chris Walker (Author)

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