MAUNGA PRIMARY SCHOOL, LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA

To increase the capacity of this school to offer higher learning possibilities to its pupils


The Maunga community comprises of 8 villages and has a population of nearly 2000. Family income levels in this area are low, and so many childreb are growing up surrounded by extreme poverty in very difficult circumstances.  Maunga Primary School is the only school (other than preschools) in the area, and needless to say is stretched beyond its means to cater for such a large catchment area.  Nearly 200 children are taught at this school by 6 teachers.  

Currently the school is only able to provide education up to grade 7 (aged 14). To complete their compulsory education up to grade 9 (aged 16), pupils must travel a minimum of 20km to the nearest available school.  As a result many do not attend, staying at home or often opting to work in illegal activities such as poaching.  Additional school buildings on the existing school site will release pressure on the current infrastructure and crucially allow for the provision of teaching at grades 8 and 9, thereby increasing educational standards and providing the community’s children with a better future.

Data from many countries has shown that women with at least a secondary-level education eventually give birth to one-third to one-half as many children as women with no formal education; better-educated women are able to delay marriage and exercise more control over their reproductive lives. In the Maunga area many women, as young as 17, are bearing children with little or no income, or support.

ALERT through our ACT division, with our partner Lion Encounter Zambia continues to strive to increase the capacity of this school and increase the higher learning possibilities through providing both manpower and materials to build further teacher accommodations and classrooms.


Milestones:

2010:  Football kit provided to the school team.  So that the school was able to employ an additional teacher, and therefore reduce pressure on the existing staff, a new building was erected to accommodate the new staff member.

2011:  Launch of the Maunga Kids Club.  Zambia has the 7th lowest life expectancy in the world, and just like any other sub-Saharan African country has been ravaged by HIV/AIDS with 14% of the population infected. The result has been millions of orphans that have been left behind, many living with the disease themselves. These children have to deal with situations way beyond their years often looking after parents or younger siblings and forgoing much of a childhood themselves. The Kids Club was launched to allow children the opportunity to play in a supervised and safe area. During these sessions our teams conduct informal lessons on a wide range of conservation and health topics whilst engaging with the children in fun and memorable ways.  These sessions also allow us to identify children that may be struggling in their home lives and bring that to the attention of community leaders such that additional support might be provided.

New desks were provided to the school to replace broken and dilapidated furniture.  Aside from providing a safer and more comfortable environment, larger desks also lessen crowding, allowing for a more productive learning experience.

2012:  A volunteer program was launched to attract individuals from around the world to come to the school for extended periods to act as teaching assistants, and therefore support the school’s staff in their duties.

2013:  The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust has donated £3,560, and the Estelle Trust a further £3,500, to build Maunga pre-school. Currently pre-school children have access to a small temporary gazebo that is largely unusable during the long rainy season and is without electricity or running water. A new custom-built classroom will ensure the school’s activities run continuously throughout the year, allowing more emphasis to be placed on the importance of pre-school learning at a time of significant physical and cognitive development. Numerous children in developing countries fail to reach their development potential which contributes to intergenerational transmission of poverty. Pre-school in the early years can reduce this problem and ensure that children arrive at school sufficiently prepared for a learning and social environment.

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