13 Feb A visit outside the school
This morning the Headmaster offered to take me on a trip to visit Lake Kariba and to see the primary and senior schools along the way. It was an eye-opener. Perhaps some of the staff have gotten a little tired of my wanting to make things better (which I won’t tire of) when their experience is that what is here is just so much better than what is elsewhere. I responded by saying you can’t compare something bad with something worse… you should compare it with something better and strive for that! But those schools which are worse are truly terrible! In fact, one was so bad I could not bring myself to photograph it. We were welcomed into the one boys hostel and it was just a room with 14 thin mattresses (approx. 3 cm high) placed on the floor such that the entire floor of the room was covered and about 30 boys slept in the dormitory. There were no bed-frames, no lockers, just two desks. The boys’ clothes were slung over the rafters. The ‘Dorm Captain’ (a position of some apparent importance in the Dorm) slept on top of desks that formed a rough table, though someone slept underneath the desks too!) The boys were lying on the mattresses when we came in doing some colouring-in of pictures.
The next school we visited was better. I attach the photographs of the dormitory there. It is a tough existence but despite the mean surroundings the children are well-behaved, hungry for any education and work extremely hard.
Some photos from nearby schools
Our school offers a holiday tuition programme where children from surrounding schools can come and register and ‘brush-up’ on various topics. Some of the children that attend this holiday-tuition come from schools such as the one we were visiting, other from those where it is very rare for a teacher to be at every class, or even most classes. When I introduced myself as coming from Canisius, every boy asked me about the details of this year’s holiday tuition programme. They were so keen to spend their holidays ‘catching-up’ because they know that they need more than what they are receiving.
I’ll leave you with some photos from Canisius High School…
Some photos from Canisius