Friends of Pakati and VaTonatsa Foundation – working together to help students in 3 rural schools

As I have been saying in recent posts, such as https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/05/25/interesting-developments-at-friends-of-pakati/ Friends of Pakati have agreed to collaborate with the local philanthropic organisation, VaTonatsa Foundation, whenever it is appropriate.

Our first joint venture is to try and help students at both Pakati schools – Primary and Secondary – and at nearby Mapanga Primary school. We are concentrating on their exam classes as previously mentioned, Grade 7’s at the two Primaries and Form 4’s at Pakati Secondary. Here is some of the story behind it all…

From a recent post.. https://friendsofpakati.com/2020/05/21/follow-up-to-the-plea-in-the-previous-post/ below is the transcript of an audio message sent to me, which I sent to the Heads of both Pakati schools:

“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…..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.”

Local councillor Israel Maliki agreed with the idea, but had this to say… “I agree with the idea from Vari, I only differ on the modalities for the distribution of the papers, as it might be better to use the SDC’s (School Development Committee members) rather than the village heads.”

Below are some of the responses:

[20/05, 19:18] Chifaka Mugove: Hi Chris. I think it is a good idea. I think you should include a caption asking for stakeholders’ opinions. Some other useful ideas may also come up from them. I will also analyse the audio and give my own opinion.
[20/05, 19:19] 610909: thanks Mugove, I am doing that already with other regular contributors. am hoping something from a donor or two.
[25/05, 10:00] 610909: I got this from Vari Mayez of VaTonatsa… can you advise accordingly please?

We discussed with Mapanga and they said they can give us past exam papers to print so what we need is to buy bond papers and print and toner cartridges
At Mapanga we are working with 55 kids and then we see number three of papers needed

So as we partner at Pakati you need to ask the following:
How many grade 7s are there and can the school share soft copies that we can print.
I know FoP is interested in Pakati only so we can partner on the grade 7s and then you can do a solo on the form 4s so we balance
[25/05, 11:01] Mahachi: Its a welcome idea we have several past exam papers we can share. We are interested we have 78 grade 7 candidates.
[25/05, 11:01] Mahachi: We have a printer and a photocopier also what we need also is 2 toners and bond paper. We looked to quatations for the toner before closing and it was ranging between 70 and 100 us so we failed to purchase otherwise its a welcome idea.
[25/05, 11:20] Chifaka Mugove: Hie guys. It’s a good idea. We have 45 O level candidates. We face the same challenges as stated by Mr Mahachi. Our printer needs to be repaired.
[25/05, 19:10] Mahachi: Her idea is splindid she can carry on. However I can send you or her the exam papers I have in one folder through whatsapp or email.

This from Mr Chifaka too: “For Pakati secondary the assistance required is printing materials (bond paper and toner) which can be used after subject teachers provide their soft copies of exams.”

If anyone would like to help by donating goods, please contact the (Zimbabwe) phone numbers or email addresses shown in the flier above. If you would like to donate money, please do so either by the PayPal account shown on the side and foot of this post (in US$’s) or through http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati (in GB£’s).

Thank you👍👍

Just to let you know, chapter 3 of Pauline Machengo’s longer story, ‘Outside Zim Borders’, will be published over the weekend. I am also promised another profile of a former Pakati student, someone whose family lives close to the Secondary school. I am always looking forward to hearing from former students and staff, as I hope to compile a number of these stories into an inspiration for present students.

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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