The newest major SCALEAfrica project is a new four-classroom and administrative building and rehabilitation of two existing, crumbling classroom buildings in the village of Chamatwa in the South Luangwa Valley.
The existing Chitempha Basic School was built in 1942. It is comprised of six classroom, though only five are in use because of fear of structural failure in that area. There are 450 students officially enrolled, yet each class has approximately 20 students in attendance as truancy is very high and many students have chosen to walk further to attend Chiutika Basic School (SCALEAfrica project completed in 2009).
The existing structure is in a state of total disrepair: the metal roof is leaking, the concrete floors are severely pitted, cracked and lifting, the roof framing is twisted and rotting, and bats are nesting in the roof framing. The classrooms are also dark and poorly ventilated and the bat infestation is a major health hazard.
The need to rehabilitate Chitempha Basic School in short order has as much to do with education as it does the physical safety of students and teachers. To that end, SCALEAfrica’s aim is to build well-designed and effective classroom spaces to encourage enrollment, provide safe facilities for learning and alleviate the concentration of students overwhelming nearby Chiutika Basic School.
The new project will also include 4 outdoor classrooms shaded by bamboo trellises. When complete the new and improved Chitempha School will have ten classrooms, new administrative offices, and re-designed outdoor spaces and shaded verandahs.
The layout also incorporates offices, storage space and a large teacher meeting room. Passive techniques like proper daylighting, ventilation, and a rainwater collecting roof will bring simple, sustainable solutions to the school environment.
As always, our aim is to provide well-designed, well-lit and comfortable spaces that support the education of rural Zambian children. We also know that the new buildings inspires the kids, that they feel supported and encouraged, and that it gives the teachers spaces that allow them to work at their best - and that benefits everybody.