It is with great excitement I start this newsletter!! I had the privilege of heading a team of 8 British teachers, 21 Zimbabwe teachers and 175 students!! The aim of the week was to provide high quality A-level Revision Classes for Students taking their Alevel examinations in November this year. The students were from the surrounding townships and we were based in a very poor government school.
As you are aware the economic situation in the country meant that fuel, food, electricity and water were all in very short supply, but we were never in need and managed to feed 175 students every day!!
The Sunday before the week started we had a mini-conference for all the teachers to meet and plan. This was a great opportunity for the vision of the week to be sown, as well as building relationships between the British and Zimbabwean teachers. What an amazing team of teachers, all dedicated to touching these students lives in some way over the next week!
Monday morning arrived with a few fears as to how things would run; would the students arrive but it was incredible to see how months of preparation and hard work pulled together! We were running a mini school!!! The mornings started with Bible Studies for those students who wanted to take part, assembly and then lessons. During the afternoon there were various activities on offer: Football, Basket Ball, Dance, Drama, a Movie, Laboratory time and one on one tutorials. Dance was a hit, as many of these students had never been exposed to something like this, football brought out the competitive nature in many and the movies were always well supported. The tutorials were also a huge success with students desperate to glean as much knowledge in this short space of time! We also set up a temporary library with the textbooks we managed to bring out with us from the UK. This proved to be a huge success – so much so we had to ask students to leave at the end of the day!! The local Minister of Education visited the Revision School during the week and was very complementary of what we were doing!
As the week progressed we learned from the students that, due to the current political situation in the country, many of them had not had teachers in their subjects and had been teaching themselves over the last two years. We also learned that they did not have text books or access to the practical side of many of their subjects. It was also very humbling hearing about many of their family back grounds and the hardships that they face but the thing that blew us away the most was their passion to learn – to better their situation!! What an inspiration!!!
It was an honour and a privilege to serve these students in this way and fills Laura and I with great excitement for what we believe we are being called to in Zimbabwe – to see future leaders raised up!! I would like to thank all the teachers and other volunteers who took part in the Revision School, as well as the sponsors, without your support the success of this school would not have been possible. I thought it might be nice to end with a few comments from some of the students.
This is what some of the students had to say about the A’Level revision school:
“Makomborero Trust was the best thing that every happened to me at High School. It was one such event that I will not forget. The revision programme has helped me a lot. The most important thing is that it was for free. Even the poor were helped in their revision. The area that I was assisted most was how to tackle questions in all my subjects. I can now look forward to my exams since I now know how to answer questions. It was a blessing indeed. I thank God for the sponsors.”
“I’ve experienced a great experience and a memorable event. I leave school having experienced what learning is all about. Please come back next year for the next lot of A level students. I pray that the Lord will bless you abundantly. Thank you!”
“Well, it has been quite an experience here at Makomborero Revision School. Man, the teaching staff have been excellent, and the hospitality has been the most friendly. I will treasure these days together. May God bless you and thank you.”
“The generosity has been over-whelming!! The quality of information and the quality of teachers was above excellence itself. A wonderful experience for life!!” Tafadzwa Gondo A chance to exchange knowledge with students and teachers from various schools has left me with a phrase: ‘At least somebody cares much about me. May God bless those who made this revision school a success.”
“The teachers are great and being taught by different teachers, both from my country and also from the UK is a wonderful experience. I have learnt how to answer exam questions, the methods and tactics, and I can now manage to answer most questions that had been difficult to me. Everything the Makomborero is giving us is great and having a positive effect in my life. I just wish it had started earlier!! May God bless you – thank you!!”
We would also like to thank Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press for the generous discount we received on the text books purchased from them. We look forward to a continued partnership in the future.
Written by: Mark Albertyn