Thursday, January 2, 2014

Farewell, 2013

A Pestalozzi Experience
By Martinho da Silva Tembo

Martinho at the Pestalozzi School in Lusaka, Zambia. 
As a graduate from the Pestalozzi Education Center in Lusaka, Zambia, I feel honoured to share my experience. I joined the school in 2012 and graduated this past year in 2013. I had an excellent experience within that period.

In Grade 11, I was chosen as a school librarian. My job was to be in charge of the library. Being a library prefect was a plus for me because I had full access to all the school books. I really love reading so I spent most of my study time reading novels in the library. I love the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books. I also love Ben Carson, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Fin, Animal Farm, and The Hobbit. 

Being a librarian also had its downs because I was supposed to follow up with students and teachers who lost their books. This task could have been easier if the students did not dodge me every time they saw me. The hardest thing about my job was getting the students to read the books. Most of them were not into reading that much. Fortunately, the problem was solved when the school started a book reading competition. The students were required to read at least one book per week and write a review of it. The student who wrote the best book review won a prize.

In Grade 12 I became the vice-head boy of the school. The feeling was euphoric. I never thought I would be more than just a librarian. With the new position came new responsibilities. I had to monitor the other prefects and make sure that they did their job properly. It was hard telling prefects to do things because they are also leaders and have to be dealt with with a little more respect.

Being the vice-head boy meant that I had to carry myself in a way that conformed to the position. I had to talk to the students more than I did when I was a librarian. I also had to work hand in hand with the vice-head girl Kate M’hango who is also a KF scholar.

Martinho, the author of the piece, at right, with Kate M’hango, 
another KF Scholar and 2013 graduate, at left, with Mark Adams, 
the former Princeton in Africa fellow for KF, in the middle, at the 
2013 Pestalozzi School graduation ceremony in December. 
Generally the students’ response to me was good. Most of them liked me because I was friendly to them. They did whatever I asked of them. They made my work really easy and I thank them for that.

When it comes to academic achievements the story also starts in Grade 11. I would say that my performance in class was very good. When the test results came it was very common to see me in either first or second position in my class. My biggest competition grew more fierce in Grade 12. I think it was because it was our final year and everyone in my class did not want to be left behind. Almost everyone managed to pass their mock exams which came in the second term. I managed to score 7 points in 6 subjects.

During our graduation I won two prizes. One was for excellent leadership and the other was for being the best in my class.

In conclusion I can say that my stay and experience at Pestalozzi was very good. My personality was enriched and I learned how to use my head, heart and hands, the school’s motto.