This is our second conversation with Constance, who teaches in Mwandi Primary School, Western Province, Zambia. She has been using the iSchool tablet and lessons for nearly three years. Here she is with Eleanor Sykes, Head of Mwabu Academy who visited Mwandi in March.
You are currently doing your teaching degree, although you have been teaching for some time as you already have a diploma. Why did you want to become a teacher?
I never really wanted to be a teacher, but due to financial challenges it was the only course my single mother could afford to pay for me. However, I do now enjoy interacting with the classes I teach, especially if I have taught them from the start of the year. I love it when my pupils can read and understand what they are reading. I also enjoy the co-curricular activities for example traditional dances and poetry.
What do you personally find challenging about teaching?
The thing that challenges me most is teaching a child who has never passed through pre-school, teaching them how to write, read and interact in class.
What challenges do you think are facing Zambian education today?
Zambia still has poor infrastructure, sanitation and resources for pupils to use. These problems can stop children attending school.
What are the challenges of introducing technology into the classroom?
Most pupils are computer illiterate so time can be consumed when teaching them computer skills for the first time. However, they learn fast and soon become confident at using the iSchool tablet. You can just write a lesson on the board and they are able to find it on their own. They can also explore independently.
How would you like technology to support you as a teacher?
To be able to share ideas with other teachers from all over the world through social media in order to diversify and develop education. It could also help to reduce on work load, by sharing ideas and activities. I would also like to see proper storage of information which will help to track pupils’ learning progress.