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.

What having computers will mean for Pakati schools – Part 1

September 2018

Last year, I returned to Pakati for the first time since 1992. I met the Head, Mr Mugove Chifaka, and we talked about the school and development. I told him about the things I could see had changed, he told me about what changes he would like to see in the coming years. The one thing he mentioned more than any other was computers. He felt the students would benefit greatly, and the standard of education would improve accordingly. During these discussions the idea formed between us about how I might be able to help if I could. This project began that day.

Donation by the Stephenson Group

Since then, things have moved forward. Website set up, fundraising page set up twitter and facebook presence created. Sponsored walk set up, trained for and completed. Advertising on local media lead to various interesting developments. Links to sponsors/supporters developed (see our sponsors/supporters page). Donations offered and accepted. Fundraising still ongoing. Offers of further funds and publicity still coming forward.

friendsofpakati@gmail.com

http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati

http://twitter.com/friendsofpakati

http://facebook.com/Friends-of-pakati

Friends of pakati is growing and more developments are coming. But the question is, what does all this mean for Pakati? Several contacts have been in touch with me on a regular basis, and they have helped by giving their thoughts to me. Below are several of those comments, and who made them.

Let me start with perhaps the most important contributors – some of the current crop of students. Thanks to English teacher and Deputy Head for gathering the comments below:


Basil Chapaguta 2A “Computers will help us to research our homework easily”.

Abigail Chakanetsa 4B(she’s also Ward 14 Junior Counselor) ” Being computer literate keeps us in trend with the changing modern technology and e-learning is the way to go”.

Belinda Machika 1A ” I love playing games on my dad’s phone. I can image playing educational games on a big screen. I have never used a computer before”.

Clever Zoraunye 2A ” learning using computers is a dream come true. At least we will now get basic computer skills which will help us and make researching easier”

One of the current staff also gave her thoughts to us:

Mrs Mwaashidzana – have a read of her profile in an earlier blog post

Ms Mwaashidzana the Fashion and fabrics teacher said that “…computers are a move in the right direction. It will enable the learners to keep up with the current educational curriculum which has made computers a must have for all schools. It’s unfortunate that rural schools are currently lagging behind”

Former student Doc Bothwell Riside had this to say:

Doc Bothwell Riside – author of the most-read blog post on this website

“Computers play a pivotal role in the education of the children . The support information storage and ease of retrieval of the information in administration. When connected to the internet they assist in researches for students. Hence students may get more information on a topic. Pakati school being a rural school would open the student’s horizons to the outside world. It is prudent to note that the coming in of computers will aim to enhance a holistic education. Computers and Internet will leave the poor rural marginalised schools at a certain level.”

There are several other contributors who will give other perspectives on this topic, I will add their thoughts and comments in part 2, to follow in a day or two.

Coming this weekend here on friendsofpakati.com

The author, July 2019

I am currently gathering comments from people from the Pakati community, finding out what they think about the computers which have been donated to the schools.

So far I have comments from the following:

● At least one current staff member, with promises from 2 others including the Head teacher

● At least 3 current students at the Secondary school

● At least 1 former student, with one other promising to reply soon

I am hoping to hear from others too in the local area and/or those with a strong connection to Pakati.

I will also add my own thoughts once I have collated all the responses and edited it into one blog post this weekend.

Disappointment for Pakati Boys u-20s football team….

Pakati boys u-20s football team vs Chenhuta Secondary school

Heartbreak for Pakati boys – the competition at District level proved just too much. Pakati lost both their games in the group stage of the tournament. Both Chenhuta and Kambarami Secondary schools’ teams defeated Pakati 2-0. Both teams later went on to contest the final that day, but that was little consolation to Pakati.

Pakati vs Chenhuta

Below are the comments from Pakati staff who accompanied the boys team to Chemhondoro Secondary School, venue for the District competitions:

Sports Director Mr Kahuni: ‘Everyone was disappointed with the results and even the coach was frustrated. The head, Mr Chifaka, just comforted the boys and told them to keep training for the next season.’ Coach Magabaza also said, ‘…they have learnt a lot, and are going to work on some of the errors noted down during the play.’

Pakati vs Chenhuta

Let us hope for better success for Pakati next year!

Pakati Schools – a longer-term approach is needed

I really would like to talk about the state of things at Pakati schools, and broaden the help this website/blog can try to bring to both Primary and Secondary schools. Take a look at the photos in this post, and read the text please.

Pakati Secondary school, 2019

Pakati Primary and Secondary are typical of rural schools across Zimbabwe. Relatively large class sizes, lack of facilities, minimum state funding, a local community of subsistence farmers whose income are unstable and often badly affected by inconsistent weather patterns. Reliant on school fees for basic materials, these schools often struggle to provide necessary equipment such as books, desks or items needed for practical lessons. However, whatever limitations there are at Pakati and many similar schools, there are some very strong positives to mention.

Pakati Primary school, 2019

Firstly, the dedication and hard work of the staff cannot be denied, even when delays in salaries being paid happen, or the economic hardships in Zimbabwe mean those salaries are relatively low. Many teachers grow crops to feed themselves.

Remedial learners, Pakati Secondary school, 2019

Secondly, the students themselves are highly motivated to do well in their classes and exams. They are well aware that success here can help them escape a difficult life.

Agriculture lesson, Pakati Primary school, 2019

Thirdly, the attitude of the parents and local community towards education is also a very positive one. They are very supportive of the schools where they can, and welcome developments aimed at improving the level of education Pakati students are given.

Mrs Pindura (Deputy Head, English teacher), Mrs Munatswa (Geography and Science teacher),
Mr Chifaka (Head teacher) and Mr Chizenya (History teacher)
some of Pakati Secondary school sttaff 2019

These are schools which need some help….with things such as computers (which I am involved in providing,) but also with books. Equipment. Desks. Decoration. Maintenance. Sports equipment. Parents provide what they can but it is difficult sometimes. I see this now as a LONG TERM project to try and support these schools to provide a better standard of education. I know the students can get better results if they have a better educational environment, I have seen students coming out of Pakati with 5 GCSE/O Levels. What could they acheive with better equipment? Books? IT? Well maintained buildings? Proper equipment? Access to support and deve,opment for teachers? Let me tell you. As well as any student anywhere.

Author, September 2018
“I am very proud to be associated with Pakati. Without question, the best thing I have ever done
is to have worked here for over 2 years”

3 things – sports update, football shirts, and an auction item.

1. Sports – disappointment for Pakati Secondary school in the District football competitions. Two games played, against Kambarami and Chenhuta, were both 2-0 losses. These two teams actually made it to the tournament final. Full report and pictures still to follow soon.

2. Football shirts. I have been given a number of football shirts, and have just taken them to Simon, my friend who is a collecter and trader. He has already started on getting interest from people he knows, and informs me that a number of them could raise a decent amount, a couple in the range of £50-60 each. All funds raised will go to http://gofundme.com/friends-of-pakati

One of the shirts donated recently

3. Signed picture of Scunthorpe United from several years ago, apparently is going to be auctioned in the near future to raise funds for http://friendsofpakati.com and I believe there may be other items available too.

Up for sale soon….