As part of our inquiry into the working of Zambeze Delta Safaris in the Sena village, we had the opportunity to visit the school and meet the teachers.
The school was built in 2012, again using funding from the hunters who enjoy their sport at Zambeze Delta Safaris……
There are three teachers…..
…. who alternate teaching times in the three-room schoolhouse. In the mornings, there are three classes of younger children ages 6 to 8 and then three classes of older children, ages 9 to 12, in the afternoon. In total there are about 100 children.
The split by age is casual and the children are often split by size as much as age.
They teach a basic curriculum including Math, Science, English, and Portuguese. Interestingly, they are taught geography, but not history. Their books are provided by the government. When I asked what the kid’s favorite subject was, they immediately answered Portuguese!!
You may wonder why African’s are speaking Portuguese, but you have to remember that Mozambique was settled by the Portuguese, so it is still the over-arching language. There are over twenty dialects in Mozambique and these children belong to the Sena tribe and speak the Sena dialect. Portuguese is the main language in suburban areas so the children are taught to speak it so that they won’t be at a disadvantage if they move away from the village. In this way, they are hoping the give the children the opportunity for a better life.
The teachers rotate thru the school with each teacher staying a minimum of 2 years before returning to the urban areas. They have the option of staying longer if they want.
When I asked Dylan to inquire as to what they needed, he laughed and said that it might be a long conversation. So, I changed the question to ask their three biggest needs. The first answer was a solar panel so that they can have electricity and light in the classrooms. The second were supplies for the school and the third was a new well because the current well wasn’t clean. Dylan commented that you get a different answer almost every time. He said that there is a fine line between giving them everything that they want because then the government then assumes that they don’t need anything and won’t provide for them.
ZDS also encourages them to educate the children in the conservation and protection of the local wildlife populations.
The teachers are paid primarily by the government but the Foundation also provides some funding for them. Part of the school property also includes houses for them to live in……
As we talked, the children started arriving and all stood around, listening to the conversation…..
I loved this group of young men….
All at once, a bunch of kids came running in from one of the paths…..
It was as if a school bus had pulled up, but of course, there is no bus!!!
It was fun to see the children hurrying into the school grounds with their books in tow….
…..many of them heading into their classroom to drop off their books….
…and then join the growing group of listeners…..
The classroom is very basic…..
….and the children quickly found their seats…..
….in spite of the white-woman in the back corner!!!
In a typical fashion, the teacher had to “manually” place a few students in their spots!!!
As we drove out, these two young women, provided my favorite photo of the morning…..
The children were well-behaved and seemed happy to be at school and we were certainly happy to visit with them!!!