Bambai Primary School
We have been approached by members of the Bambai community to assist them improve their school. We get several requests like this each year but because we are working with some of the community’s farmers already we went to visit the school and see the need.
5 classrooms for 7 year groups, erratic water, poor toilets, next to no land and no lunches being provided. Sadly not so different from many schools.
The teachers and the head teacher are enthusiastic for change but are the community ready to commit to making the efforts to bring about change. The leaders we met think so.
We asked the leaders to call representatives from the households to attend a meeting and over 100 householders attended. After lots of introductions we asked the community to form small groups and we started to ask questions.
What are the Aims of the School?
Provide a good education to their children in a nice environment that is conducive for teaching and learning.
To provide the education needed to progress to Secondary and further education.
Students should learn “life skills” so that they can be self reliant when they enter society as adults. (This included vocation skills, hygiene, heath and well-being knowledge, Environmental awareness and how to prevent and manage natural disasters, interpersonal skills and business skills.
To help increase economic develop of their community.
How the school can improve academic performance?
Better teaching and learning environment (more classrooms, more and better toilets, improved book ratio, school lunch, better relations between teachers and parents, better sports facilities, computers.
What has the community done recently to improve things?
Built some toilets.
Paid college students to provide extra tuition.
Built one classroom.
What is the role of parents in ensuring their child gets a good education?
To send their child to school.
To provide their child with basic needs such as clothes, books, pens and food both at home and at school.
Engage with the child and the school as they are educated and encourage them, nurture the child in spirit and health.
Provide time at home for learning.
Contribute to the school maintenance and building infrastructure.
What are the Challenges?
Poor teaching and learning environment with a lack of desks, books, storage space, funds to chalk..
A lack of teachers
Not enough classrooms and poor toilets.and poor water security
Poor living conditions at home, some orphans live with grandparents.
Poor parenting knowledge and a lack of seriousness about education
A lack of capital to put ideas into practice
Teachers lack enterprise knowledge
Do you want to work together to bring about change?
We went on to discuss what working with LTT means, which essentially means a commitment to: -
Setting up a school meals programme and feeding the students
Supporting the young people
Contributing materials and labour to build foundations and walls to head height
At a follow up meeting in February we learnt that the school has agreed to partner with us.
They have already established and are running a school meal programme;
They have started on the foundations for 6 toilet cubicles for student toilets
They have set academic and attendance targets
They have started to have parent teacher meetings
We held a further meeting with a newly formed steering committee and together undertook a problem tree analysis, where the problems are identified and then the root causes of those problems are identified. From that we can start to build a development programme to tackle the root causes and bring about long lasting change. They have provided a prioritised list.
Photocopier so that they can do more tests for Standard 7 without having to go to town each time and spend lots of money
Renovate the older existing classrooms which are dark and dull. This means remove the roof, raise the walls, add larger windows and replace the roof where possible or add new roof where not possible. Then plaster and paint as needed.
Build a kitchen with food store room.
Add 2 more classrooms.
Add further toilet cubicles to meet Government standards and ensure they are girl friendly.
Improve the water security.
Establish a market garden for learning enterprise skills.
Repairs to the remaining untouched classrooms.
Establish further income generation programmes.
Toilets for teachers.
Sports equipment to reduce absenteeism.
Tables and chairs to teachers in classrooms.
Improved book ratio , target 1 book between 3 students.
Enterprise training for teachers.
When we meet again we will work with them to revise the priorities into a more logical order and one that can accommodate the needs of volunteer teams.