Stephen Corp, Deputy Head Teacher at Gillshill Primary School, Hull, England, reports on his visit to Jack CECUP Community School, Lusaka, Zambia on 4th – 14th June 2006. Following an OfSTED inspection of Gillshill Primary School, Hull, in July 2003, the team recommended that my school should endeavour to develop multi-cultural links, as our school was predominantly white. I placed my school's name on The Global Gateway site with the intention of building links with a community from a very different culture to my school. Over the next 18 months a number of secondary schools from Eastern Europe requested a partnership. As these schools were inappropriate matches for our needs, I declined their invitations.
Eventually, in January 2005, Mr Wiseman Banda, the School Co-ordinator, from the Jack CECUP School in Lusaka, Zambia, contacted me for a possible link up. This invitation appeared to be the partnership my school required.
Jack CECUP School (Jack Community Education for the Children of the Under Privileged) is a community school set up in the Jack Compound – a developing township 11.5 km south of Lusaka. The school was founded in 1999 by the present co-ordinator, Mr Wiseman Banda, at his own expense because education in Zambia is compulsory, yet there is no funding for vulnerable children. I became aware that Mr Banda and volunteers work tirelessly, without pay, for the benefit of underprivileged children. It was this selfless dedication that drew me to developing links with his school.
From then on, we were in regular email contact finding out more about each other's schools. We exchanged our schools' prospectuses, and began pen friend letter exchanges between our pupils. Soon afterwards this led to an official School Memorandum of Agreement between the Board of Directors (Jack CECUP) and the School's Governing Body (Gillshill) which promoted mutual links.
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