Canaan Nursery and Primary School

Inger Gretland interviews the Head Teacher

Our school opened in January 2011 with only five students and today there are 130 children from nursery to grade 7.

Our students are a mix of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) and children of members of the church. This helps to integrate the OVCs into a normal school environment. The school has a psychosocial counsellor who works in the communities to identify and assess children and families prior to intake. After being accepted for the school the counsellor also offers follow-up for the guardians and students. 

All our students here attend full day school. The school has one bus, but there is great need for another one as the number of students is increasing and they live scattered in and around Lusaka.

The school is emphasizing reading, using a system called phonics. The teachers have found that a lot of students are struggling to read and write properly, even though their spoken English is all right.  In addition to the normal curriculum, the school also offers clubs: drama, scripture union, AIDS-action club and chess club. Hopefully, they will also soon have a football and netball team, but they have to use another school’s field for these activities.

HIV/AIDS is the number one reason for children losing their parents, and the project wants to start testing and counselling in the communities to raise awareness on this problem.

The Canaan Centre has a small garden and poultry, and they are hoping to start up a bakery soon. This will help to bring income for the school, and if children and families are struggling to find money for food, they can be helped. There are also plans to make the school an examination centre. This would mean that students from other schools would come here to write their grade 7 exams, and it would bring in extra income for the school.

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