This term’s arrangements

school bus

Following the government’s unexpected announcement, school will restart on Monday 28th September for pupils in the Reception class and in all non-exam grades (1-6, 8, 10-11). The last day of term for non-exam grades will be Friday 4th December.

Sadly, because of the government’s new rules for keeping pupils safe from Covid in school, children in our classes for 3 year olds and 4 year olds will not be able to return until January. 

We need to use their classrooms for older children, as classes now have restricted numbers to create safe distances between pupils. However, during this term, we plan to create a new dedicated Early Years’ Centre which should open in January with improved facilities and longer hours for our youngest children.

This term begins on Tuesday 15th September for all pupils in Grades 7, 9 & 12. This year, because of the Covid pandemic, they will sit their national exams during December.

  • Grade 7 exams will commence on Monday 21st and end on Thursday 24th.
  • Grade 9 exams will start on Monday 7th and finish on Tuesday 15th. 
  • Grade 12 exams will begin on Monday 14th and will be completed on Wednesday 30th.

We trust that every pupil does the very best they can in their exams!

Introducing ‘The Judah Sikamikami Scholarships’

gardening

In honour of Judah Sikamikami’s 14 years of service as Headteacher, we will award annually six full scholarships which will pay the award-winners’ school fees for one year.

These six ‘Judah Sikamikami scholarships’ will be awarded, every year, to the boy and the girl in grades 7 & 9 who achieve the highest marks in the national examinations, and to the pupil in grades 7 & 9 who worked the hardest and improved the most throughout the year. 

Special Announcement!

Judah Sikamikami

After 14 years of service as headteacher, Judah Sikamikami has decided it’s time for him to step down from Mukwashi and move on to a new task. He’ll be leaving us in December, at the end of this term.

Since ‘Day One’, Judah has been the friendly face greeting pupils, teachers, parents and visitors, and he has overseen all the school’s development. He managed the building of the teacher housing block, the grade 6 – 9 classrooms, the new secondary school building (including the Science lab) and the girls’ toilets. 

More importantly, Judah has supervised the education of thousands of pupils, encouraging them all to achieve the very best they can. He has also continually inspired our teachers to provide the high-quality education for which the school is now famous: we are excited to see what’s next for Judah. 

When Judah heads off for his new adventure in December, he will leave Mukwashi in very capable hands. Our current deputy head, Mulemba Sakuwaha, will become acting headteacher in January 2021, and will serve in that capacity until we complete a formal recruitment process.

Snippets of news from last term

professional development

When grade 7, 9 & 12 pupils were allowed to return to school in June, they began with lessons in mask making. Our early years’ teaching assistant, Mushiba Lubinda, is a trained tailor, and she taught all the pupils to measure, cut and sew their own personal masks.

As part of their Agricultural Science lessons, pupils contribute to planning, planting, caring and harvesting our large school garden. We use most of the produce from the garden in the school meals, but, in July, we had a glut of spinach so grade 9 & 12 pupils take some of what they had grown home as a gift for their families. 

During the term, all Mukwashi teachers completed the UK Open University’s ‘Making Teacher Education Relevant for 21stCentury Africa’ course led by the university’s reputable TESSA (Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa) team. We held an informal ‘graduation’ ceremony during school hours so pupils could see for themselves that learning never stops. 

School re-opening

Judah Sikamikami, Head Teacher

The government has announced schools may re-open on 1st June for examination year classes (Grade 7, 9 & 12 only). 

Officials from GMoE have inspected the school, and have given us the ‘all clear’ to re-open. They congratulated us on our disinfected classrooms, handwashing facilities and supplies of sanitiser and soap. 

For now, pupils are required to wear a mask to school. We will train pupils to make their own masks and will supply the materials for them to use. 

As the school was closed two weeks before the end of Term 1, parents who are up-to-date with their fees will not have to pay for the first two weeks of Term 2. We will notify parents about the fees for Terms 2 & 3 when the government provides the revised dates. 

‘We are looking forward to welcoming our exam pupils back on Monday, June 1st. Our dedicated staff have been working 24/7 to ensure the school is safe, and they are ready to provide pupils with first-class instruction and care. Your child’s safety is our top priority.’

Judah Sikamikami, Head Teacher 

New Kitchen

Thanks to the generosity of some overseas friends, local builders erected a new school kitchen during the closure. We’ll use this to provide every pupil with a free daily hot meal. 

Our nation is going through a hard time at the moment, especially with high inflation and low rainfall, so we know that providing a nutritious daily meal will by a big help.

Thank you to Simba Milling for donating the grain for the daily meals… We’ll use much of the produce we grow in the school working garden for the meals too.

Busy in closure

The staff all worked throughout the Covid 19 closure period. We seized the opportunity to spend 4 hours a day studying an on-line teacher development course run by the UK Open University. Its ‘Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa’ (TESSA) department provided us with dedicated materials for primary and secondary teachers in Zambia, and we have all benefited greatly from the course. 

If this wasn’t enough, we also ‘rolled up our sleeves’ and cleared the old rusted, broken and derelict playground equipment. It was all encased in concrete so it was a hard job! Now the area is completely safe, and we’ve got to start saving for some new playground swings, slides and seesaws for our youngest pupils.

Reading to the community

Every term, all the pupils in Grades 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 & 11 spend one whole day taking books into the local community, and reading stories to the children whose parents can’t afford to send them to school. Obviously, our pupils don’t all do this on the same day!

This is always a wonderful occasion— especially for those children who never otherwise see a book. In Term One, Grades 5, 8 & 10 did this on Valentine’s Day, and also gave everyone a rose as well.

If only we had the funds to provide all these children with a free bursary place!