Innovating Education in Zambia: Building a Learning Centre at Nakatindi Primary School

By: Victoria Foord, AKP Zambia Coordinator

ZAMBIA | AKP’s next major investment in Nakatindi has been in the planning stages since 2018, when the need for a dedicated extra-curricular learning space was identified by the school administration and wider community. In February 2020, we began construction on a ‘Learning Centre’ on site at the school. A library, computer lab and communal work space have been designed as a unique, eye-catching, and creative learning environment.

Schools across Zambia are usually built to strict specifications and, as a result, often look the same and it is unusual to find creative design and engaging learning spaces. Our aim for this project is to be big, bold and create a truly unique space for the pupils at Nakatindi Primary School to engage positively with reading, computer science, and extra-curricular activities such as the newly formed Conservation Club.

Working Together 
This project exemplifies how AKP likes to operate: collaboratively with our partner communities. It’s important that we work alongside with community members and listen to their needs. Long before construction began, initial steps included the formation of the Project Management Committee, made up of representatives from the school administration, PTA, District Education Board, Livingstone City Council, Nakatindi community members and pupils. Together, this committee began the process of bringing the Learning Centre concept to life.

Construction Carries On During COVID
Construction on the Learning Centre officially began on 2nd March 2020 following a small ground-breaking ceremony with our stakeholder group. Progress continued on the foundation until late March, when Zambia recorded its first positive case of COVID-19. As a result, the country began a partial lock-down with many non-essential businesses, schools and churches closing. Work on the Learning Centre was put on hold for 2 weeks while the situation was assessed by the contractor.

In mid-April, work resumed on site with a smaller team and additional health and safety measures in place. Quick progress has been made since work resumed, and as of 9th July we have moved into the final finishing stages of the build, including plastering, painting and interior fixtures.