Follow up to the plea in the previous post..

The previous post was https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/05/17/a-plea-for-help-in-these-unusual-times/ and it has generated some discussion…

Well, now a new and interesting proposal has been sent to me by Vari Mayez – see previous post https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/04/25/saturday-star-vari-mayez-a-friend-of-pakati-under-lockdown-in-harare/ – of VaTonatsa Foundation, an organisation I am more than happy to collaborate with.

Such co-operation is already being welcomed by friends of Pakati, and was mentioned in another prior post – https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/05/08/whats-happening-at-friends-of-pakati/ – so I am.now waiting to hear more from Vari as she finds out if its is a feasable idea. Let me explain.

Here is the first part of a recent chat/conversatiom: “….we (VaTonatsa) are working on a programme to assist rural exam kids with study material because those in private schools have resumed learning already”. There are echoes with things which are happening in the UK, where it is widely thought that students/pupils from less advantaged backgrounds are likely to fall behind their better off peers. In Zimbabwe, that is even more acute for students in the rural areas. In a an audio message to me, Vari had this to say:

“Private schools and Public schools in urban areas have started teaching online, so the challenge is (to help) rural kids, they have no way of learning online. Their teachers may have challenges of data/airtime expenses, and also because of social distancing its difficult for the children to come to the schools to maybe download some of the lessons that the teacher would want to share with them.

So because of these challenges, we were thinking – I was talking to Mrs Maenzanise (Head of Mapanga Primary in the same Ward 14 area of Murewa) – suggesting that they need to set some exams/tests, then we (VaTonatsa) facilitate the printing of those study materials. We then go through the village heads for them to distribute to their students. So we will wait for the Minustry of Education to tell us the opening dates for the exam classes (Primary Grade 7, Secondary Form 4). We are hoping for a delay as this will help the students in the meantime, so that they can study from their homes.

We also want to facilitate solar lights so that the children can have lighting to study at their homes so that they can catch up.

I also wanted to suggest to you…if Friends of Pakati could chip in, we could also partner to help the children at Pakati as well to just print, so the teachers will set the papers, and what we help with is buying a cartridge and paper for the course, then we will print. The teachers will then collect the papers…and get them delivered to the village heads. Then the children can get them from their village heads (and study on their own homes). That is our idea.”

VaTonatsa in action

What do you, dear Friends of Pakati, think? Personally, I would love to get Pakati on board with this plan, and maybe others of a similar nature. Although it is not exactly as laid out in the 2020 vision – see https://friendsofpakati.com/2020-vision-friends-of-pakati-the-project-continues/ – it can be stretched I think in these very unusual times. I have already heard from interested parties in support of this idea, including the Head of Pakati Secondary school Mr Mugove Chifaka and regular contributor/former student at Pakati Lorraine Mapuranga.

I have to ask though – would anyone like /be willing to add some funds to help? Large or small, every donation is always welcome, as it all adds up by going into the same pot, which has the ultimate purpose of helping the students of both Pakati schools. Thank you so much👍

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.

4 thoughts on “Follow up to the plea in the previous post..

  1. Thanks as usual Chris for capturing the needs and good deeds concerning Pakati schools impacting education of the rural child.True we need to do as much as we should to bridge the gap in education in rural areas.

Leave a Reply