Kabulonga Basic School Reporters make strong journalists
School Report News Day in Zambia became a virtual cultural exchange with students in Lusaka interviewing pupils from the UK about school life - and teachers from Japan about body slapping!
On the day, the reporting team at Kabulonga Basic School chose to focus on a eastern form of exercise popular with young people, an inter-national football match and a reading initiative. In addition, two girls shared their favourite subjects and their uniform likes and dislikes with pupils from the UK.
'The scores are in'
Young journalists Tulani and Lisa kicked off the News Day with this report about exam results:
Kabulonga Basic School has once again performed tremendously well in the 2009 Grade 9 final examinations. The school has progressed from the 2008 pass rate of 73% to 93% in 2009. A total of 216 pupils sat for the examination, out of which 182 were selected to proceed to Grade 10. Individual subjects like Office Practice, Home Economics, Art and Metal Work saw a 100% pass rate with the rest of the subjects ranging between 87 and 97%. Mathematics had the lowest pass rate of 64%.
Reporter Florence asked headmaster, Mr Sakala, to comment on the grades:
Lisa talks to UK students about uniforms and school subjects
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE 93% PASS RATE AT GRADE 9 IN THE FINAL EXAMS?
The school really did very well. I wish to congratulate the teachers and the pupils for working so hard to achieve this.
IS THIS THE FIRST TIME THE SCHOOL HAS SCORED SUCH A HIGH RATE?
No, we are usually a high-performing school and most of our pupils are picked by the big technical high schools.
IN COMPARISON TO OTHER SCHOOLS, HOW DID THE SCHOOL FAIR?
We were among the few best school and that should make all the teachers and pupils happy. But for us to keep the standards and improve more, we need to work even harder.
A keen news hound, Florence also caught up with students demonstrating an oriental form of exercise and questioned her Sports teacher about it's origins:
On a cultural note, pupils at Kabulonga Basic School are expanding their cultural appreciation by learning a Japanese performance called Body Slap. The pupils who started learning body slap in their Physical Education lessons decided to make it an extra-curricular activity by requesting their PE teacher, Mr Yoshi, to teach them about Japanese performances as a way of exchanging cultural activities.
Body slapping: Students learn the Japanese exercise
WHAT IS THE PARTICULAR DANCE THE PUPILS ARE GOING TO PERFORM?
The dance is called "slap dance".
IS IT POPULAR IN JAPAN?
Yes it is popular in Japan, especially among the young people.
WHY DO YOU TEACH BODY SLAP IN PE?
I teach it so the pupils are healthy. They also enjoy interacting with each other.
Fellow reporter, Bwalya, interviewed one of the dancers:
HOW DO YOU FEEL AFTER PERFORMING SLAP DANCE?
I feel happy after doing the dance.
Games teacher, Mr Yoshi, was jubilant following his soccer success as a member of the winning side in a pre-World Cup friendly. Thulani has the details:
With the South Africa 2010 World Cup frenzy in the air, Kabulonga Basic School teachers were baptised with a 3 - 1 thrashing by Japanese volunteers in Lusaka on Sunday 21 March. The teachers started on a good note by scoring their only goal in the 15th minute of the first-half, but a minute before half-time the volunteers equalised after putting pressure on the teachers. After half-time, the volunteers were more aggressive and managed to add two more goals to the score sheet, winning three goals to one at full-time.
Interested in capturing the post-match sentiments of the losing side, Thulani grilled teacher and footballer Mr Chile:
We lost 3-1 to the Japanese volunteers.
COULD THE WET PITCH HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR LOSS?
Oh yes, it could have been the cause, but the guys were also just very good.
WILL WE SEE A RETURN GAME TO TRY AND SAVE YOUR LOST GLORY?
Oh yes, we shall soon play again to see what happens.
AS A KEEN FOLLOWER OF FOOTBALL WHAT DOES THE SOUTH AFRICA 2010 WORLD CUP MEAN TO YOU?
Tourism will rise and this time around there will be positive news coming out of Africa and that is something to look forward to.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF THE WORLD CUP SEEING THAT IT WILL BE PLAYED A FEW THOUSAND KILOMETRES FROM OUR COUNTRY?
More people from within the region should go there and our coaches should go and learn how the other countries do it.
ARE YOU GOING TO TRAVEL TO THE 2010 WORLD CUP?
No, I will not, but I will watch on television.
Improving literacy through reading circles
Frederick reported on an initiative designed to boost literacy levels in the country:
A reading programme called reading circles has been introduced at Kabulonga Basic School. This is to help pupils raise the falling reading culture levels in Zambia. The programme was started by the Forum for African Women Educationist in Zambia (Faweza). It has seen positive results in its members as they are now reading more fluently in their particular circle.
Texting the news
Students at another school near Lusaka, Kanyonyonga Basic School, were also interested in the World Cup. Some talked of increased security measures, others argued that African referees should be fully involved and that there should be fair play. Some suggested hotels should lower their charges during the event. These sentiments were communicated via SMS messages; a selection of which are below:
- Most African teams will proceed beyond preliminary and everybody is looking forward to that. The World Cup will boost tourism around South Africa because people will want to come and see the Victoria Falls.
- There are a lot of investment opportunities especially around the hotel industries.
- Most African people will travel just to see the players they love in action.
- Money raised by FIFA should be partly invested in education.
Students from a third school, Mpezani Park Basic School, were also involved in making the news for the BBC.