On 14th February, our Grades 6 & 7 learners visited one of our local ‘compounds’ to read traditional African Stories to the people who live there.
During the cholera-extended end-of-year break, our staff managed to download, print and spirally-bind another 380 stories from the EU’s African Storybook website. Learners chose a book each and read their story to everyone they met – adults, children and groups of local people.
We do this every term: it’s important for learners from more affluent homes to experience how ordinary people live – and it boosts our learners from these communities to be able to ‘show-off’ their learning to their friends and neighbours.
We were thrilled by our learners’ results in the 2023 national examinations.
95% of our Grade 7s passed and proceeded to secondary education – compared to an average of only 69% across all other schools.
96% of our Grade 9s gained their School Certificate and moved on to Upper Secondary education – when the national average was only 53%.
And 87% of our Grade 12s were awarded a National Certificate, when the average of other schools (including all selective, boarding and STEM schools) was only 67%. Plus, 56% of our Grade 12s did so well that they qualified for enrolment in an degree course at a university (if they can manage to find sponsorship or a scholarship).
Special congratulations to Stella Bwalya in Grade 12, who scored the highest mark in Mukwashi history.
We’re thrilled to announce that, this past term, a poem written by a small group of our Upper Secondary learners was selected to be performed at the opening ceremony of an international conference in London. It was then featured throughout November at the art exhibition linked to the conference.
The poem ‘Education Colonised‘ was written by Maliwa Kutempa, Hellen Chibale, Lydia Mulundika, Tina Zulu & Elisabeth Mayanda during a poetry project led by their English teacher, Ms Luyando Sikamikami.
Luyando thought the work so outstanding she entered it in a competition organised by the international charity ‘Debt Justice’. The whole school was amazed and incredibly proud when we heard the news that the poem had been awarded first prize.
Our learners were then asked to perform their poem outside the school so it could be videoed and shown at the exhibition. It’s been a great learning experience for us all – and has been a big boost to our learners’ confidence in their own ability and creativity.
In the past few weeks, we’ve been able to use the generous gifts we’ve received to purchase some more of the resources and equipment we need.
We’ve now bought all the equipment we need for our livestock studies, and are already using it in our agricultural science lessons. Here are some of our Grade 10s learning to use an ear-tag applicator – which is an important part of keeping good records of your animals.
We’ve bought 50 ‘Lohmann Brown’ chicks (it’s a German breed of hen) which will join us once they are 18 weeks old, and we’ve also purchased two Saanen goats (a young male and a pregnant young female). Saanen goats are milk producers, and our learners are all looking forward to becoming highly-skilled hand-milkers.
We’ve also commissioned a local craftsmen to make 45 stools for the science laboratory. It’s better to invest the funds we receive in the local economy rather than buying cheap imports. He’s just completed the first ten, and the others will be made by Christmas.
Our forty Grade 7s were the first to be tested, and this year their exams were even more important. The government has recently decreed that only those who pass their G7 exams can now proceed to secondary education, so the pressure is on those who are academically less able.
This photo was taken minutes after our G7s completed their exams – and we’ll learn their results at the end of next month.
Our sixteen Grade 12s were the second set of candidates, and they’ve just finished all their papers. In Zambia, the G12 certificate is more like the IB than A levels, with learners needing a good pass in English and five other subjects. Ours have been examined in eight subjects: English, Maths, Agriculture, Integrated Science, Commerce, Accounts, Civic Education and RE.
In theory, the Zambian Grade 12 certificate opens the door to the world of higher education. In reality, few of our learners will go to university because their parents cannot afford the fees – and the chances of a scholarship are tiny. Because of this, we held a special ‘graduation ceremony’ just before the G12 exams to mark the end of their time at Mukwashi. We made the event as special as we could for our leavers and their proud parents and carers.
Next week, our Grade 9s start their exams. In many ways, these are the most important exams of the three – as the Grade 9 certificate is the passport to a professional job in Zambia.
The school has started using the funds it’s received to buy the ‘tools’ it needs. We began by investing in professional garden tools for our staff and learners to use in their Agricultural Science lessons.
We’ve spent £500 on 2 bow saws, 2 club hammers, 3 axes, 4 sprayers, 2 spades, 5 forks, 10 slashers, 17 watering cans, 20 hoes, 20 trowels, 20 rakes – and the parts to install 5 stand-pipes in our ‘ag lab’.
Our secondary learners are delighted to have proper tools to use on their plots. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.
We try to provide our learners with a balanced curriculum which builds good character and stretches them academically, but which also equips them with some deeply practical skills which are relevant to local community life.
This term, in ‘Expressive Arts’, Ms Nkhoma set our 40 Grade 7 learners the project of designing and hand-sewing themselves a skirt.
This week they presented their skirts to the rest of the school – and we thought you would enjoy seeing their handiwork.
At the end of last term, we said a sad farewell to one of our deputy heads, Ms Mwangala Lubinda, our secondary science teacher, Mr Golden Siankwebo, and one of our cooks, Ms Orient Habasimbi.
And, at the start of this term, we welcomed a new secondary science teacher, Mr Hartman Mwenya, and a new cook, Ms Purity Kasamu. Mr Mwenya has joined us from a secondary school in the Copperbelt, and Ms Kasamu from a Lusaka tourist lodge.