In the Sekute community of Zambia, students often had to walk miles a day to attend school. Classes were held in a ramshackle, local school made of mud that could only house 50 students. It is little wonder then, that in this chiefdom, illiteracy was at 80%.
Officially opened February 11, 2011, the Lupani Primary School replaced the formerly dilapidated structure with a modern facility that includes six classrooms, several offices, and five houses for teachers.
African Wildlife Foundation's Classroom Africa initiative built the brand-new Lupani Primary School as an incentive for the establishment of a community-protected wildlife area and the protection of valuable wildlife dispersal corridors. The 20,000-hectare Sekute Conservation Area is home to two important wildlife movement corridors that pass from community areas in Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, into community lands on the Zambian side of the Zambezi river corridors. AWF’s partnership with Bushtracks Africa takes the school on field trips to Victoria Falls and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park to educate the kids on the importance of conserving wildlife and wild lands.
The promise of a modern school nearby is indeed exciting. Since the Lupani Primary School has brought education closer to eager minds and excited families, classes are full—with 125 students enrolled, and the Zambian government has provided seven trained teachers to instruct classes. Parents are thrilled: The school boasts an involved and passionate parent-teacher association (PTA) and men and women from the community have registered for adult literacy classes. Over 95% of sixth-grade students passed their primary school exit exams, the highest rate yet since AWF began supporting the school.
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