Education is obviously a big factor in child development. Since Zambia is a developing country, these three educational essentials--schools, teachers and good educational material--are difficult to come by.
While schools are available, only 67% of school age children attend school. Children from kindergarten to 7th grade pay an admission fee of $20-40 per school year. From 8th to 12th grade they pay around $50 per year. This is expensive for the average parent, who might only make $375 for the whole year.
The average teacher is making about $50 per month and is supposed to get an additional housing allowance. Salaries and other benefits are commonly late and strikes are frequent. To top this off, sicknesses such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB and a mountain of other things add to the declining school standard. It was reported that in one district, only 30% of the education was taught in the school year!
We supplement a school in the slums of Lusaka. Pastor Sakala administrated the school by faith until he met us. With a combined effort, "The Flying Angels School" continues to prosper and grow. Several new buildings have been added with the help of the local community.
To complete the school vision, three more buildings need to be constructed. One will be a library where the students and teachers can access reading and reference material. We have outfitted the school with close to 1000 books from the States. This has been a tremendous blessing as readers in general are very expensive in Zambia.
Currently there are over 500 children attending the school. Half are attending free of charge, while the rest are paying a minimal amount according to the financial situation of the parents. Over 150 children are orphans that are cared for by a relative. The school employs sixteen teachers and staff members. They have two shifts: one from 7a.m.-12 p.m. and the other from 1-4 p.m.
This school, including salaries, schoolbooks, security, etc. can be run on a budget of $500 a month. A small tuck shop (general store) was built that contains items that are cheap enough for the locals to buy. Also, the teachers can run a tab that is paid at the end of the month.