Our Monitoring & Evaluation Officer, David, visited Joy Belt School in the Copperbelt province of Zambia in October 2015. His account of his visit is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the ICT Teachers in the school, the school principal and the students themselves. Read on for his account of his experience.

In late 2015  I visited the school Joy Belt, in Chingola, in the Copperbelt province of Zambia. Joy Belt is a relative small, private primary school with 518 students comprising a mixture of boys and girls.

They still teach Junior Secondary level pupils (Grades 8 and 9). However, this is being phased out in primary schools across the country so that these grades are taught only in Secondary schools. In addition, the African Ministry of Education has mandated that all schools should have ICT equipment sufficient to deliver the Computer Studies curriculum.

Children busy in the computer lab

Children busy in the computer lab

The school received computers from Camara in two batches in 2012 and 2013 and during my visit I happened to notice that the students are very careful in handling and maintaining all the computers and follow the lab recommendations from Camara. Not one of their computers has required maintenance.

During my visit I went to the lab, where a Grade 3 (around 8 years old) class was having a computer class. The kids were completing a mock exam for the Grade 9 Computer Studies exam. I was very impressed by the fact that they were working on material 6 grades ahead of themselves. The problem they had to complete was to create a table in the word processor and insert headings, then format the headings. I tried to help a couple of students who were trying to figure out the difference between rows and columns. I’m not sure if my explanation helped as I don’t think I was born to be a teacher!

The results the school achieved in the 2015 Grade 9 Computer Studies exam are a testament to the approach of the school and the dedication of the teachers. Every pupil in the school who sat the exam passed. Considering that the average pass rate in the district is 54% this is very impressive.

Joy Belt is an example of a school that has embraced the Camara Ubuntu package. The ICT teachers realize the benefits and utilise their training to integrate ICT into their teaching. The ethos of the school also helps. The headteacher, Johnston Chilyango, recognises the importance of ICT to his school and encourages teachers to use the resources.

Kids from Grade 3 in class

Children from Grade 3 learning computer skills with their teacher Bridget Nakamba

Visiting schools such as Joy Belt is one of the perks of my job. I feel very privileged to be able to make these journeys and meet the people who benefit from the hard work everyone in Camara contributes.

Well done Joy Belt!