Tuesday June 30th – Ndola/Kitwe/Lusaka
The delayed visit to Kitwe (a large industrial city 35 minutes drive NW of Ndola) was one of the best days of the trip so far. We first went to a local government run primary school beside the SMA church. The school has 2,800 kids (yes that is not a typo) ranging in age from 6 to 16 (some kids don’t finish primary school until 16 either because they don’t start until they are much older or because they are forced to drop out from classes for several years to work). The school runs 3 separate cycles with classes starting at 7am in the morning and going through to 5pm. The Head master has just converted a classroom to a computer lab containing 25 Camara computers and he is totally committed to making every child computer literate by the time they leave primary school. This is what Camara’s slogan TECHNOLOGY. EMPOWERING EDUCATION . is all about.
We then went to visit Kitwe Teacher Training College (for Primary School teachers) which is one of the largest such colleges in Zambia. We discussed with them the possibility of locating the Zambian Hub in some of the technical workshops currently not being used in the college. If we can work out the operational and financial issues this would be a huge win for Camara as it would start to integrate our operations at the teacher training level in Zambia which is where we want to be. Our goal would be to make sure all teachers are computer literate before they leave college and that they are comfortable with using technology as a tool for teaching other subjects.
Flew down to Lusaka in the evening on a 10-seater single propellor plane and stayed over night with the SMAs in Lusaka – Frs Paddy and PJ Gormley. The more time I spent with people like this the more I realise what an exceptional group of people they are – men and women who are completely selfless, have a strong work ethic and remain positive and energetic even when tackling that seemingly intractable problem of African poverty. If only we had more people like this back to Ireland to help get the country back on track, but I guess their work in Africa is far more important to them.
Press-ups 0, Situps 0, Bicep curls 0 (Am quickly running out of excuses)