I am posing some questions for you all, as friends of Pakati, to try and answer. I want to hear your views. In an earlier blog post I did start to ask about what happens next year, and there are some comments already which I will add to this article for you to consider before adding your own.
The two Pakati schools, like many others in rural areas of Zimbabwe, face a number of problems. Sadly I am limited to what help I can give, and I am only really able to help Pakati due to my strong personal links and affiliation to its surrounding community. The first comment I shall quote comes from Mr Mugove Chifaka the Head of Pakati Secondary school, and gives an idea of the sort of challenges which lie ahead:
“Good afternoon Chris. Regarding the issues you have raised, we surely need more PCs but we need to install stronger security burglar bars to the staff room for the safety of the computers already in our possession. We included the expected security expenditure in our 2020 budget propopals which was agreed upon by parents in a General meeting held on 3 December. We submitted the application for approval to the ministry on Friday 6 December. We surely need internet access.
The other things we need are tables and chairs for the students. The ministry now wants sitting places with back rests for Students and we need such furniture for 300 students.
We also wish to improve our grounds by better landscaping, which in turn calls for better fencing. This is a few of the things in our plan if finances allow, but as you are aware, our economy is not stable at all but we just plan.”
Here are other comments, with the senders’ name attached:
“Good question you raised in the blog.
I think it is best to add more computers at first then install internet when there is an increased number of computers so that it is easier for most of the pupils to gain access.” (Vatonatsa Foundation)
“….though i respect your suggestions I would like to view it from a different angle, Text books have become a scarce resource and unaffordable at the moment. So with the few computers we have its better we connect to internet first, and source a printer so that we can print our own books from the internet. At that recent school meeting I was told by the Head that at present each class have just 5 text books being shared by the teachers and an average of 55 if not 60 pupils, a very sad senario indeed.” (Councillor Israel Maliki)
“…. My opinion is that if both can not be managed, preference should be connecting to the internet, more computers can be added with time while the present ones are being fully utilised” (Talent Mutyavaviri. teacher at Pakati Secondary school)
So, my questions are about listing priorities really, and about how to fundraise for whatever those priorities are. How do you see the priorities? Should friends of Pakati expand to cover more of Mr Chifaka’s concerns? Or should we limit it to just IT equipment? How should I/we fundraise? Big events like the sponsored walk this year, or a series of smaller ones? A mixture? What type of activities? Whatever suggestions you have please send them via Facebok, twitter, Whats app, email or comment on here. I will post your ideas and suggestions on here, consult with contacts, then post the outcomes in a follow-up post. Thank you all.