Working with African Bush Camps Foundation as a teacher in the two different schools in the Hwange/Dete region that they support, Main Camp Primary and Mambanje Primary Schools, has within me developed a deeper understanding of the different community’s needs. In spite of them being in a close vicinity, the community’s share a lot of differences, particularly in their education levels. I have been a teacher at both schools and currently I am at Mambanje Primary, we are working hard on educating the children in this remote and rural community, whose children are still behind in its pass rates from previous years. It has been important for me to understand these differences in communities, as I seek to help the children and the parents appreciate the need for education.
The saying “children learn from their parents” has never been more truer in my experience at the schools where increasing the parents’ and community’s capacity and appreciation for education has been one of the major ways we have been trying to reach the children. Education is described by some as a three legged pot, “ibhodo“, in the isiNdebele language with the legs representing the three stakeholders who are the parent or guardian, the teacher, and the child with all having an equally important part to play in education. If any of the legs are missing the pot will not stand and will fall over.
Thinking about education in such a systemic manner has taught me the importance of involving each and every one of the legs of the pots if we are to fully apply ourselves to the cause of educating communities.