Ashel lives in a hilly area between Mfuwe and Chipata known as the Mphata Hills in the Jumbe Chiefdom. He has been attending Mphata Primary School and last year took his Grade 7 exams. These are the final primary school exams and a pass means that the pupil is able to go on to secondary education. Ashel achieved a score of 673 and here is a breakdown of his results.
|Special Paper I||109||2|
|Special Paper II||112||2|
He was selected to attend Matula Day Secondary School which is close to Mfuwe airport but this school is at least 2 hours walk from his home.Walking for two hours or more in order to be in class by 7am will mean that he will need to leave home before first light. Leaving school at 4 pm means that by the time he gets home there is little light left for studying and his home has no electricity. Also, like most families of subsistence farmers, it is unlikely that Ashel will have any breakfast or lunch and so his challenges will be light, hunger as well as tiredness after a school day plus 4 hours of walking.However we are unable to find a place for Ashel in a boarding school so in addition to school fees and his other school needs we think he would benefit from a bicycle, a rain coat and a solar light. The cost of these is included. However subsequent years Ashel's costs will be cheaper as these are one-off items.
Ashel lives with his father and mother, his elderly grandmother, his sister Fatness, and his niece.He also has a younger sister but she was taken to live in Lusaka to help as a housemaid.This is not an unusual practice when a family is struggling to feed everyone in the household. Ashel says that he is very sad at the thought of his sister being so far away.
You can get an idea of which subjects the pupil likes or is good at by looking at his or her marks. English and mathematics are obvious but you might like an explanation of the other subjects. Social and Development Studies is all about geography, history and civics. Zambian Language is the study of one of the many languages used in Zambia; in this area it is Chinyanja. Creative and Technology Studies is a mix or practical subjects such as arts and crafts. The marks may also indicate the type person, especially when it comes to the Special Papers; Special Paper 1 is a simple and basic IQ test based on English and Maths logic and Special Paper 2 is a basic visual IQ test based on patterns.