Tuesday 16th July
Another full day!
I spent the morning (and part of the afternoon) at PIZZ school. The project is doing well despite a shortage of teaching materials and poorly paid teachers. There are various initiatives being followed to provide additional funds and to enhance the education. The garden at the second school is being used to grow some vegetables. The children do a lot of the work, learning useful skills that will help them at home and in their future life. Some tomatoes were sold and the children involved were treated to some sweet potatoes from the proceeds. The current crop of tomatoes will be used to buy a bicycle for the teachers to use to go into town.
There is a problem whereby many of the students come to school hungry and can't concentrate on their lessons. Some funding has been found which should enable the children to receive a bowl of porridge in the morning which will make a difference.
I made a quick visit to the hospital this afternoon, though many had already finished for the day. I met Sr. Beatrice, who was the Administration Manager when I first came. She is currently studying for a degree in Lusaka and is having a brief holiday in Monze. She told me that the government is insisting on academic qualifications for all posts – even a cleaner needs a grade 12 certificate! Personally I think this is evidence of a world gone mad!! There are lots of people who are very capable of many jobs – including those at a senior level – who are not good at passing exams. There are others who are good at passing exams, but unfortunately not much else!! It is a pity that people seem incapable of looking beyond very simple measurable indicators these days. The implications of overlooking experienced and capable staff and placing raw graduates in senior posts are immense! Of course Zambia is following the worldwide trend not setting it.
Christine caught up with me eventually, as did Diven and Raymond joined me for supper!
I now need to get some sleep. Tomorrow I must set of early for Chisamba.
Bye for now