Pakati Schools – a longer-term approach is needed

I really would like to talk about the state of things at Pakati schools, and broaden the help this website/blog can try to bring to both Primary and Secondary schools. Take a look at the photos in this post, and read the text please.

Pakati Secondary school, 2019

Pakati Primary and Secondary are typical of rural schools across Zimbabwe. Relatively large class sizes, lack of facilities, minimum state funding, a local community of subsistence farmers whose income are unstable and often badly affected by inconsistent weather patterns. Reliant on school fees for basic materials, these schools often struggle to provide necessary equipment such as books, desks or items needed for practical lessons. However, whatever limitations there are at Pakati and many similar schools, there are some very strong positives to mention.

Pakati Primary school, 2019

Firstly, the dedication and hard work of the staff cannot be denied, even when delays in salaries being paid happen, or the economic hardships in Zimbabwe mean those salaries are relatively low. Many teachers grow crops to feed themselves.

Remedial learners, Pakati Secondary school, 2019

Secondly, the students themselves are highly motivated to do well in their classes and exams. They are well aware that success here can help them escape a difficult life.

Agriculture lesson, Pakati Primary school, 2019

Thirdly, the attitude of the parents and local community towards education is also a very positive one. They are very supportive of the schools where they can, and welcome developments aimed at improving the level of education Pakati students are given.

Mrs Pindura (Deputy Head, English teacher), Mrs Munatswa (Geography and Science teacher),
Mr Chifaka (Head teacher) and Mr Chizenya (History teacher)
some of Pakati Secondary school sttaff 2019

These are schools which need some help….with things such as computers (which I am involved in providing,) but also with books. Equipment. Desks. Decoration. Maintenance. Sports equipment. Parents provide what they can but it is difficult sometimes. I see this now as a LONG TERM project to try and support these schools to provide a better standard of education. I know the students can get better results if they have a better educational environment, I have seen students coming out of Pakati with 5 GCSE/O Levels. What could they acheive with better equipment? Books? IT? Well maintained buildings? Proper equipment? Access to support and deve,opment for teachers? Let me tell you. As well as any student anywhere.

Author, September 2018
“I am very proud to be associated with Pakati. Without question, the best thing I have ever done
is to have worked here for over 2 years”

Author:

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 spent the last 13 years as a Civil Servant in Bradford. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

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