Benguerra Primary School was established in 2008 to provide education for children on the island. Previously children did not attend school or travelled to the mainland to do so. Families who wish for their children to study beyond primary level, are still required to send them to Vilanculos on the mainland at an expense of around $700 per year which most families cannot afford.
Today, Benguerra Primary school has an enrolment of 512 children from grades 1 to 7, taught by 9 teachers. The current infrastructure at the school consists of 4 classrooms, a library (often used as a classroom), an administration office and ablutions. With the current enrolment, the 5 rooms are expected to cater for an average of 102 pupils per room.
To help the school cope with the enrolment, some students attend class in the morning and others go to school in the afternoon. Even under this arrangement, the small classrooms cannot accommodate all the students. To try to reduce class sizes, some students sit outside the classroom under trees.
It is well recognised that overcrowding in classes hinders the academic performance of the students as it is a challenge to both the teaching and the learning process. Overcrowding raises noise levels and increases disciplinary issues, creating a risk for personality conflicts, general disruptive behaviour, and for struggling students to be overlooked and get left behind.
Our local partners from Africa Foundation have recently secured funding to build one double classroom block at the school – the construction of which is currently underway. We are currently assisting their further development of infrastructure and have donated funding support for the construction of another block of two classrooms.
S.B. STEEL AG Schwerziweg 7, CH-6045 MEGGEN, SWITZERLAND