ZSF – VOLUNTEER TEACHERS SECURE EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR HUNDREDS OF LEARNERS IN ZAMBIA
ZSF – Volunteer Teachers secure education opportunities for hundreds of learners in Zambia.
The shortage of teachers at almost all schools in Zambia, especially in rural areas, has continued to compromise the quality of education children get.
And despite the periodical mass recruitments of teachers by the Zambian government, shortage of teachers remains a serious concern for the sub-Saharan country with a population of less than 20 Million people.
Nevertheless, with generous support from cooperating partners such as Zambia’s Scholarship Fund, or ZSF, a non-governmental organisation that has actively existed in the country for the last twenty-three years, the narrative is changing – it’s slowly improving!
ZSF, through its trained volunteer teacher project, has been instrumental in bridging the education gap of children in rural areas of Kasama and Mungwi Districts, some 880 kilometers north of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka.
Here, ZSF is meeting the education gap through supporting the communities and government by providing 49 paid-up volunteer teachers at selected public and community schools in a bid to ensure that learners do not remain behind on lessons.
This deployment of forty-nine volunteer teachers of at least one per school, has since brought smiles and hope of a better tomorrow to the thousands of locals, that is parents, traditional leadership and most of all, pupils themselves, who bore the pain of going to school and not having a teacher to teach them.
However, in their efforts to secure education opportunities for all the learners, ZSF volunteer teachers are often overwhelmed by the many children that need to be in class.
Take for instance at Ngoli Primary School, a ZSF volunteer teacher, takes more than one class of an average number of 80-95 pupils per class, thereby overseeing nearly 200 learners that might have otherwise missed a lot of lessons if a volunteer had not been sent to the school.
Notwithstanding such challenges, the Ngoli volunteer teacher and the other 48, have kept pressing on with ZSF’s desire to help educate the children, who mostly come from poor families, and whose only way out of poverty is education.
Meanwhile, some parents talked to by ZSF officials that recently toured the 49 schools to appreciate the volunteer teachers, applauded the organisation for its service to humanity, saying without it, most of their children would not be learning and those that completed may not have made it.
They added that though not enough, the deployment of the ZSF volunteer teachers has helped improve the teacher-pupil ratio in schools and subsequently impacted the necessary skills and knowledge to their children who yearn for a better life in future.
” In as much as these Zambia’s Scholarship Fund volunteer teachers are not enough to balance the teacher-pupil ratio, their input goes a long way in meeting the education gap of our children,” said the smiling parents.
The parents have since appealed to ZSF and its donors to consider deploying more volunteer teachers to help boost learning in schools, noting that most schools are severely hit by shortage of teachers, lamenting that this has an effect on the provision of quality education.
Evans Mulenga ZSF volunteer teacher (chair of Technology and social media)