The Twapia – George Secondary School will be opening its doors to Grade 8 students on January 9th 2012.

The Grade 10 students will be starting in February – after exam results are released. There will be a class of Grade 8s and 4 classes of Grade 10s.

Currently the roofing sheets have been delivered and are about to go onto the 3-classroom blocks at the school. The Laboratory and Library block is nearly up to roofing stage and the slab for the dormitory structure will be poured once the rain eases of. There is a borehole in operation and the Build IT trainees are currently working hard on 3 latrine blocks (one for girls, one for boys and one for the staff). There are 14 Build IT trainees on site who have been working on the pit latrines since November. Building work began on the school in September and there are six Build IT graduates from the COINS Kawama project employed by the Twapia contractor since the beginning of the build.

The school will be inspected for registration by the District Education Standards Office on 28th December. We have been given permission to open and operate while the school registration is pending.

The District Education Board Secretary is going to second the school some government teachers (we’re still in discussion as to how many but it’s likely to be around 4 teachers), which will significantly lower the schools running costs. By ‘second’ teachers we mean sending surplus government teachers, who have qualified but who have not been posted into government schools. This means they will appear on the DEBS’s government teachers’ payroll, but they will work in the Twapia School, reducing the running cost of the school as teacher salaries are one of the major costs.

We are also starting a poultry project and arable farm at the school to give the school Director a head start with Income Generation Activities. The Director will lead the activities and is being incentivised with a small share of the profits (if they have met their other KPIs and can demonstrate the educational impact of the IGAs for the students). Seeds of Hope, a conservation farming NGO based in Ndola, are going to provide some technical support to the school Director once in position. The poultry project will see between 500 – 1000 broiler chickens maturing every 6 weeks, and we are currently constructing a chicken house. Two Ha of arable land is currently being planted with beans, in accordance with conservation farming techniques. Half a hectare of land will shortly be planted with seedling cabbages. Once the school is operational, the Director will lead the IGAs. Students will be involved in both IGAs. We also hope that the cost of the school farmer’s salary will be covered by the IGAs in the future.

Outreach work is going well with the communities of Twapia and George (where the school is actually situated). The area is very excited about the school opening, and we are not expecting to have any problems enrolling students. After fairly heated discussions, the community decided to call the school ‘George Secondary School.’ Over 100 designs have been submitted by primary students in the Twapia district all hoping their design is chosen as the schools logo.

The selection processes for the school Director and Head Teacher are almost complete.