Part of the reason I came to Zambia was to help with the selection trips – where a team of us go to an area in the country to select children who will begin as Grade 5 Pestalozzi scholars in 2020.
This year we would do two trips. Our first trip was to Chadiza, in the Eastern Province of Zambia. We arrived at around 4pm, checked in to our guest house and continued on to the school where the selection process would take place. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the Headmaster and teachers of Teferansoni School. We dropped off some supplies before heading back for a good night’s sleep.
Tuesday and Wednesday were spent conducting oral and written exams. There were four parts; a general interview, a reading test, a memory test, and a puzzle. The written tests consisted of: English, Maths, Non-Verbal Reasoning, and Mental Ability. The students selected would be starting at Pestalozzi in Kasisi, Lusaka in January. The shortlist included 11 girls and 3 boys – in line with Pestalozzi’s mission to educate at least twice as many girls as boys.
On Friday we visited the homes of the selected students, met their families, and explained the next steps in their child’s education with Pestalozzi. It was humbling to speak with them and see the conditions in which so many people in rural Africa live. Strong, interdependent communities, grateful to see their children get a good education and the opportunities it would bring them. It made me even more excited for their futures!
By Antonia Butler