The QEECS project, supported by the European Union and implemented by VVOB and ZOCS, supports 18 community schools in Ndola and Kitwe district to provide quality early education. In March this year, the QEECS project organised two study visits for nine community schools in Ndola to Buyantanshi Community School in the same district. A total of thirty head teachers, early childhood teachers and parents took part in the visits. The visits were supported by the District Resource Centre Coordinator and the Chairman of the Community Schools in Ndola.
A framework for early education in Zambia
Before setting off to Buyantanshi Community School, the participants discussed the QEECS project and its objectives with the QEECS Coordinator and the District Resource Centre Coordinator. The group also considered a range of good practices in early education in Zambia based on a framework visualised in an infographic.
On arrival at Buyantanshi Community School, the head teacher, Sister Regina, spoke the visitors on the history of the school and how the community is involved in running and improving the school. Different initiatives that the school has taken to mobilise resources over the years were highlighted.
The participants observed learning through play taking place in the two early childhood classes. What we saw:
- The teachers encourage all children to actively participate.
- Children are encouraged to try new things and it is ok to make mistakes!
- The teachers work with structured activities that encourage the children to explore.
- The teachers use objects that the children know and that don't cost money, for example mango leaves.
- The topics the teachers used were familiar and interesting to the children, for example the human body.
The visitors were guided around the school. The head teacher explained how many of the buildings were constructed with the active participation of community members. Many of the visitors were impressed with how the school used locally available resources with such impressive results.
Sharing insights and reflections
The visit ended with the group sharing insights, questions and feedback while enjoying the hospitality of Buyantiashi community school!
After the visit - at Bwafwano Community School
Mr Bishop Bwalya, the head of Bwafwano Community School, invited the QEECS team to a meeting at his school where he shared his experience and insights from the visit with the parents’ committee. He wants his school to learn from the study visits that are facilitated by QEECS.
Mr Bishop Bwalya,