Pakati Primary school – still under lock-down

As schools in Zimbabwe are still closed, and we don’t yet know when they will re-open. I have been sent the following pictures and information by the Head, Mr Mahachi – thanks to him for that!

School premises during lockdown

Adminstration offices and computer room.

ECD (Early Childhood Development) block vacated

Mrs Mandingaisa, one of the teachers staying at the school during lockdown

Some of the teachers are maintaining their vegetable beds during the lockdown period.

Mr Maunje our caretaker is maintaining the school wire, garden, and ECD play centre during lockdown.

Mr and Mrs Chakanyuka going for washing during lockdown. They say they have just completed harvesting their crops and are just assisting their children with holiday work during this lockdown period.

Mrs Mahachi is one of teachers at the school and during lockdown is taking this time to help her children, especially Percy who is in grade 7, to prepare for his exams. She is hoping the lockdown ends soon to meet and socialise with colleagues, and because prices of basic goods has shot up during this period.

Some children at the school who are waiting for their peanut butter being worked on by one of the teachers, Mr Kupara.

Mr Kupara, one of the Grade 7 teachers, milling peanut during the lockdown period. He is worried about the future of his learners if the lockdown continues and learners continue not coming to school. In the meantime he has created a whatsaapp group where he is posting learning materials for his learners and interfacing with parents of the children being assisted. However the challenge is that not all parents have got smart phones or even phones at all.

Some children of the teachers punching a sand bag as a pastime during the lockdown period.

Other children of teachers are seen around the school compound.

Mr Madziva and his son. He is the OSA (Old Students Association) secretary and neighbour to the school. He says he enjoys being with his family during this locksown as they are usually apart. He wishes the government can deal with the price distortions during this lockdown if it has to continue.

Infant classes have been vacated during lock down

Mr Mahachi, Pakati Primary school Head, has this to say about lockdown and its possible lifting, including what he would like to see in place to provide a safe place for learners and teachers alike:

“I am using the lockdown to harvest my maize, groundnuts, cowpeas etc. The crops did not do well due to rainfall shortage. I am also taking time to see that the school is well kept and all materials are safe. I wish the government can only open schools when it is safe to do so or when adequate measures have been put in place. The suggested measures are as follows: 1. Availability of running water as the school is using a community borehole 500m away and doesn’t have a perennial source of water of its own. 2. Appropriate teacher-pupil ratio.3. Adequate furbishment for social distancing. 4. Adequate and appropriate personal protective equipment for teachers and learners.”

I am encouraged to hear about people in the area following the guidance regarding lockdown, as I want to know the community is safe and well.

Friends of Pakati have been very lucky to have been able to continue publishing stories. This has been due entirely to the material being sent in – so please do keep sending more pics and information for us to edit wherever you are – UK, Zimbabwe, Australia, NZ, Canada, USA, rest of Africa, rest of Europe, Asia – please tell us your stories. If you aren’t connected to Pakati directly don’t worry – if you read this blog then we want to hear from you!

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 14 years as a Civil Servant in Bradford. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

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