The rural population of Zambia is regarded as one of the poorest of the African continent. Zambia is especially affected by a high mortality rate because of the HI-Virus. This fact also explains why 45 per cent of the population in Zambia is less than 15 years of age and there are about one million AIDS orphans.
AIDS as greatest problem
The magnitude of the disastrous epidemic also has catastrophic effects on the education system. More and more children have to quit school in order to look after their parents who have AIDS and to take care of their siblings as well as earn a living. Every year two thirds of the trained teachers die of AIDS. The median of completed school years in rural areas of Zambia is 4,9 years in comparison to 8,2 years in the cities. The low quota of children starting school is to be found in the lack of primary as well as secondary schools in the rural areas as well as the poor education offered in the primary schools.
Way to school as martyrdom
The average student goes to school seven kilometres by foot every morning, hasn’t eaten anything, is tired, is lacking nourishment, suffers from intestine-parasites, is sweating with the arrival and cannot concentrate. He or she sits together with 50 other children whose condition is similarly poor. The receptivity of the children is correspondingly minimal. The teacher is insufficiently qualified, has a low motivation and is underpaid. He doesn’t speak English – the language of instruction - very well. Acoustics and ventilation are meagre, the classroom is dark, there is no chalk, the blackboard mirrors. The school is a foreign world that conveys knowledge to the students inadequately. The curriculum is not useful, not for them nor for their social environment or the society which will expect them on the labour market as grown-ups.”
Development school as goal
Inshindo wants to make a contribution to break through this vicious circle of quitting school and the low rate of school beginners in the secondary levels. The project was initiated in order to teach children and youth in their village communities with the help of local tutors. The goal is to establish a development school that orientates itself at the successful model of the Fundaec development school.
Orienting education to the needs
The maxim of the project is the consideration of the local educational needs. The first of the 18 planned exercise books to the many different topics have already been published. An important component of the curriculum is „social learning “. Experience has shown that capabilities are composed of the following elements: knowledge, skills, corresponding attitudes, understanding of concepts and the application of universal principles on everyday problems. After the successful completion of the development of the curriculum, the educational program is to be communicated to other regions of Africa.