Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Success Story of Chimusasa Primary School

Mr. Makanyanga and his class from Manjanja Primary School, another school in the region, pause for a photo.

Chimusasa is in the remote part of Nyanga district called Katerere. It is a few kilometers away from the Zimbabwean boarder with Mozambique.

Males: 181
Females: 191
Staff Compliment: 7

Status of School:

The school is extremely poor, as nearly all the parents are not employed. Nearly all parents are peasant farmers. Some parents are illegal gold panners in the Gairezi River that forms the Zimbabwean boarder with Mozambique. Food is scarce in the area because of low rainfall caused by the low altitude. As a result most money realized by the parents is channeled towards food. The school is ill equipped as few parents can afford to spare money for fees. Textbooks are considered a luxury by the parents.

The remoteness of the school causes qualified teachers to shun the school. The school usually has an average of two qualified teachers at any given time. The rest will be unqualified teachers. Such teachers have contracts of 1 term only; hence the pupils are affected by a high turnover of teachers.

The Head of the school Mr. Nyamaropa has managed to run the school brilliantly, ensuring that students do well in Mathematics, his favorite subject. As a result he ensures that all teachers at the school participate in ASAP’s Bridge the Gap Project. The school staff participates in the cluster Mathematics workshops and ensures that pupils take part in BTG Maths competitions. The typed mathematics tests produced by the BTG project provide the only time when pupils are exposed to typed examinations. The school takes these seriously. Mr. Nyamaropa says the BTG project has taken Mathematics to greater heights at the school.

In 2005 Grade 7 final examinations the school had a Mathematics pass rate of 64.5% (compare this with district pass rate of 40.5 %) and was the top school in the ranking of Math pass rates in Katerere area of Nyanga District.

The school has potential to perform even much better if provided with relevant resources such as textbooks especially with the guidance of Mr. Nyamaropa. Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture officials have acknowledged that Chimusasa Primary School has become a model school in the teaching and learning of Mathematics in Nyanga District.

-Collins Mutsvairo
Bridge the Gap Project Manager

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