St. Francis and Clare Secondary School is a government-aided school built, managed and owned by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Africa.
The school is located in Ngwerere Ward in the north-east of Zambia`s capital Lusaka. As there was no secondary school in this highly populated area before, St. Francis and Clare Secondary School stands for the chance of a brighter future for many youth living here.
The first idea about the school emerged in 2016. After a planning period, the ground making was made in 2017. Through hard and constant work it was possible to build this beautiful school in less than two years.
In January 2019 the first learners arrived for grade eight and ten. Right now we have three grade eights and three grade tens with a total number of 270 students as well as 20 teachers.
In 2020 and 2021 grade nine, eleven and twelve will be adapted. By then, St. Francis and Clare School will provide high-quality education for more than 750 students.
As many other African countries, Zambia faces a lack of educational institutions. Unfortunately, this means that children may not be able to access school, even though they would like to. Especially Secondary Schools are found rare and a lot of children have to walk long distances to attend grade eight to twelve.
St. Francis and Clare Secondary School is located in Ngwerere Area, one of the highest populated areas in Zambia's capital Lusaka. Before St. Francis and Clare was built, there was no Secondary School in this part of town. The next Secondary Schools are about 6 km walk and have limited capacity which could not cover by long the number of pupils who wanted to attend a Secondary School.
Observing this problem the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Africa started acting and raised plans for St. Francis and Clare Secondary School. Apart from their zest for action, the Sisters benefit from their expertise acquired in the execution of former projects. In 2014 for example, they have played a major role in the installation of St. Paul's Secondary School in Chipata Compound, one of the poorest areas within Lusaka. Hence, the Sisters´ background knowledge and experience are most crucial when it comes to the effective management of St. Francis and Clare School.
The project of St. Francis and Clare Secondary School is not yet completed with the opening of the school - it is just the beginning of a serie of projects coming next. As there is still a lot of free land on the property, there are many more plans for the future.
Firstly, there is the plan for a School Hall. The hall is urgently needed to hold the final examinations for grade nine and grade twelve. As these are the most important exams für our pupils it is very important to ensure a quiet and peaceful environment in which they can perform best. Furthermore, it is necessary to avoid interuptions during this period from October to December. The Ministry of Education does not allow activities other than exams, when classrooms are used for exams, which would result in disadvantages for the non-exam classes. Apart from holding examinations the hall will be used for weekly general assemblies, mass services and parental meetings for the whole school. Especially during rain season it ensures that all activities can take place in time without interruptions.
Another building project for the near future are Teacher Houses. A lot of zambian schools provide teacher houses.Without staff houses it is difficult to retain teachers especially those who live far from school and it is a challenge to guarantee a constantly and reliable structure in school. Travelling around and across Lusaka is a big challenge due to heavy traffic congestion almost throughout the day but worse in the mornings and evenings. Teachers have to start of very early in the morning to report in time and very often it might come to unforeseen events when traveling long distances, which might delay them. To give teachers the opportunity to live directly at the school ensures high quality learning as we want it at St. Francis and Clare.
To support especially girls in attending a Secondary School there is the plan for accomodation opportunities for Girls Boarding. Very often it is a challenge for girls to attend secondary schools and if they are able to attend it is difficult to perform well. In zambian families gender roles are very much present. Girls have to help a lot in the household. They have to help cleaning, cooking, washing and taking care of their siblings, which results in less time for studies related to guys. A boarding school can help them to focus on school and to perform well.
Ngwerere Area is also facing a lack of pre-schools. To have this in mind there is the plan to include a Pre-School at St. Francis and Clare. To attend a pre-school is not an urgendtly needed criteria to go into primary school. That is the reason why there are not that many pre-schools than primary schools. But pre-shools help young cildren to get to know some basic learnings and to build a good foundation for school so that they are well prepared for going into primary school.
As the St. Francis and Clare property is under the hand of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Africa, there is also the plan to build the Sisters Convent on this property. Right now the Sisters are staying in a house in Chipata Compound which can be taken over by the owner any time. To have their own house can ensure them independence, safety and reliablility in terms of accomodation. Furthermore it is uplifting for the sisters as well as for the projects to stay near.
If you are interested in supporting our planned projects in any way, we would be glad to provide more detailed information. Please contact us. For some general information about how to support St. Francis and Clare Secondary School click here.