This out-of-school programme in South Harare, offers accelerated learning for primary school children who have not attended school by the age of nine or who have dropped out before completing primary education. The centre also welcomes secondary school aged children that have failed to progress from primary to secondary school and those that dropped out before completing their secondary education.
In March and prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, one hundred and five primary learners (48 girls – 57 boys) and sixty eight secondary learners (37 girls – 31 boys) were enrolled on the programme. The school was initially designed to take between fifteen to thirty pupils per year but due to the current economic hardships in Zimbabwe, more and more children are in need of support. This year, fifteen pupils are expected to sit for the National Ordinary Level examinations and four for the National Advanced Level examinations, giving the children the opportunity to re-integrate into mainstream education.
To comply with the new curriculum introduced by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in 2017, the school urgently needs to improve educational outcomes for these children. This is being done through increasing the number of staff and providing training for them, supplying new teaching/learning materials and improving the quality of classroom furniture. Thanks to the kind support of the Rotary Club of Coventry, we have purchased materials and furniture for the school which include single desks and chairs for the classroom and textbooks for both learners and teachers.
Under lockdown guidelines, teachers have continued to follow and prepare home assignments for pupils who will sit for public examinations in November. They were encouraged to go to the centre twice a week to meet up with their teachers and submit or collect their assignments. Pupils have also continued to have access to the school resource centre for reading materials.
By promoting learning opportunities and offering access to quality and inclusive education, the school is expected to go a long way in improving learning outcomes for orphans and poor children.