While in Lusaka we took the opportunity to visit the various schools the we attended or had some association with. Feelings were very mixed with memories brought back of a life that has gone before. I have to say that I was saddened by the state of the government schools. They all appeared to be in a state of disrepair, if I remember correctly, I felt that they probably hadn't seen a lick of paint since I was last there 35 to 40 years ago.
I will start with Northmead as this was my junior school that I went to when it first opened in 1958. The school originally started in a couple of classrooms at the back of the Boys School when the Boys School was where the Boma was built on Church Road just out of town. I am not sure what number pupil I was but it was in the first half dozen.
The school was moved to it's present position not long after and it grew to a have I think about 300 pupils. Today there are in the region of 2000.
We drove down the road to the school and the first thing that struck me was, like everywhere, the 8 foot wall that surrounded the school. The 'in' and 'out' driveways were still there but once inside the grounds, things had changed. The sports grounds are now at the back of the school rather than to the side, the large wild fig tree that was over to the left is no longer there, however, a couple of very large trees now stand at the edge of the driveway. The open area between the classrooms and the offices, where the photos I posted some time ago were taken, has been closed in and is now the staff room.
I stopped the car to take a couple of photos and was approached by a lady who asked what we were up to. She turned out to be the Deputy Head and after explaining that I was an ex pupil we were given the red carpet treatment.
Looking around there has been a lot of development since I left, extra classrooms have been built, but in general terms the layout is the same. It is just the condition that was difficult to come to grips with; it was a mess.
We were taken to meet the Head Master who was fairly open about the lack of funds for the upkeep of the school. I expect that this applies to all the government schools.
While I had no great love for my senior school I did want to visit it to see what had happened to it over the years. Like Northmead it is a mess. After seeing the school I had in mind that there was hardly a window with a pane of glass intact but having reviewed the photos and the video this is not actually the case, there is some glass in some of the windows.
We drove into both the boys and girls schools but I only photographed the Boys School (sorry). Mind you, even now you would only have been able to tell the difference by the sex of the pupils. We drove around to the back of the boys school and along to the metalwork room. The major noticeable change was that gaps between the hall and the labs and at the other side of the double story building have been walled off. Other than this there are no major changes.
It seems that the swimming pool that was built between the two schools no longer exists.