Shut down and condemned by the authorities, this farm school was reopened in 2014 after hundreds of mostly destitute children kept arriving at the gates, pleading to be taught.
The ramshackle and rundown classrooms were intended to accommodate 640 children. While three new mobile classrooms have relieved some pressure, the school now services around 900 pupils.
Teachers manage large classes, of up to 60 learners.
Many of the children’s school meals, courtesy of the National Feeding Programme, are their only source of daily nourishment.
Teachers and pupils are further challenged by inconsistent electricity supply, no flushing toilets and a lack of public transport to and from the school.
In this, her first posting as headmistress, Martha Rohalane, was faced with the daunting task of rebuilding a veritable wasteland of a school.
FSLM has been coaching her for the past year to empower her to overcome these challenges, to not accept mediocrity and to be a master of her fate.
Martha has shown growing confidence in her leadership skills as well as in her determination to succeed in the face of many hurdles.
FSLM has helped her define the school’s direction and to plot an effective path to getting there.
She and her newly-united team are taking ownership of their goals and what it takes to make them a reality.
The school has started a thriving vegetable garden, unsafe classrooms have been replaced or repaired, attendance is up, teachers are rekindling their passion to teach, and Laezonia’s achieved its highest ever Annual National Assessment across all grades.
There is a new sense of hope, excitement and possibility, all underscored by calm, disciplined and focused direction.