A Floating School in Mongu District: Is It Feasible?
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The Millennium Development Goals refer specifically to the reduction of poverty. This goal cannot be achieved unless education for all is achieved. The people of Malabo, in the flood plains of Mongu, my home, should also be allowed to participate in every child’s right to an education.
The Zambezi plains in Western Province get flooded annually, and a large extent this controls the pattern of life for large numbers of Barotse, or Lozi people, and their livestock.
A number of schools are located in the plains, and when these plains get flooded many close down. The closures last from late December to July, during which time there is virtually no schooling going on. Malabo is one of the schools that is affected annually.
On 9 October, 2010, the Climate Ambassadors from Western Province, accompanied by our chaperon and an officer from the District Education Office, went on a tour to Malabo.
Situated 25 kilometres west of Mongu Township in a village called Tungi, Malabo Basic School was established in 1996. When a visitor arrives at the school for the first time it is difficult to realise that it is a school. There are only two No. 2×2 classroom blocks for the 247 pupils who attend in grades 1 to 7. The classrooms are built out of reeds and mud with grass thatch. Every year the classrooms have to be reconstructed by the community members owing to the large presence of termites.
Education for All is essentially a worldwide initiative to make a giant step forward in improving basic education, based on the understanding that education is a fundamental human right. And we are working to bring this right to Malabo.
Listen to a radio feature story about young people in Mongu, Zambia, and their desires to build a floating school here