What having computers will mean for Pakati schools – Part 2

Following on from the earlier post, here are further comments including some from senior staff at the school and another former student. Some interesting discussion points are being raised here, I hope they can be addressed.

First comments here come from Mr Chifaka, Head teacher at Pakati Secondary school:

Mr Mugove Chifaka, Head teacher at Pakati Secondary school

“The new compentence based curriculum requires more student centered learning and Research. Our students do not have access to computers yet IT tools are recommended for teaching in our new syllabi. Availability of computers will thus go a very long way in equipping our students with necessary life skills required to live with modern technology. Computers enable students to see videos and hear sounds of what they learn, which enhances the interest to study. Books are hard for most of our students and teachers have to work extra hard to have learners’ interest and attention. With computers, I am certain teaching and learning will be more interesting. I know even our enrollment will rise.”

Deputy Head and English teacher Mrs Pindura added:

Mrs Pindura, Deputy Head and English teacher, with some of her students at Pakati

“I believe the computers are heaven sent. It gives our students a headstart in terms of computer literacy in this technologically advancing world. We are really grateful for the donation of computers to our school. We will certainly put them to good use.”

The next contributor is former student at Pakati Secondary school during my tenure there, and one who you can find out about from her profile pages on here previously, Lorraine Mapuranga.

Lorraind Mapuranga, former student at Pakati Secondary school

“I personally greatly appreciate the donation of computers at my home school Pakati. I think that it is going to be a turnaround on the pass rate at the school, as students and teachers have access to more and more researching. Sometimes stationery is not enough, evidenced by the pictures that I saw sometime on Mr Walkers blog. As well, looking at how fast the world is moving students need to be equipped with computer knowledge before they go as far as university or the business world. In any college or tertiary institutions computers are a prerequisite before starting any programs and so I am really grateful for the computer donations.. Also some visual learning is easy to capture as compared to just an explanation, and long time pictures where there is more of imagination than reality. Computers are also very up to date with the latest information and through this donation I see my school going as far as Advanced level Science, Commercial and more practical subjects. However, with the powercuts prevailing in the country presently there is the need for a back up plan of for example solar power or generators.”

Ok. This 2-part article has brought up some interesting points. The overwhelming feeling is one of the need for schools like Pakati to enter the modern world before it falls too far behind even some of its closest neighbours. The students are all aware of the existence of modern technology, but many will have little experience of it. The staff and students are clear about the benefits of computers in terms of education. The discussions are about the curriculum, possible developments of the school maybe to A levels, use of IT and the internet for research, for homework, for game-aided learning, about how grateful the communuty feels about the donation. One former student raised the important question about electricity supply and the need for a back-up plan, either a generator or solar power. We will need to ward against power surges too. There is still much to be done, but a clear step forward has been made for Pakati.

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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