I write this blog on a sunny, Harare morning listening to Sophie through the office door reading a bible story about Samuel as the children giggle to the little drama that she’s put the children into. It’s a pleasant way to start the day as I’ve already had 4 children running into the office to ‘boast’ about their sticker charts being full because they got one this morning for 10/10 on their spelling test. I start with the good news because I admit that my head has been busily worrying about how we will manage the capacity of 150 children which our 5 classes will give us in 2016 and how we’ll pay for the teachers for the new classes.
Finances at One Way School continue to be a stumbling block. My head swims with worries about whether out income is sufficient to commit to increased outgoings and if we don’t have enough children registered.
But, Sophie and I have been reminded recently that it was God who gave us the challenge; “to educate children academically, socially and spiritually in a positive Christian environment.” Therefore, preparing for the worst is not an option we can fathom. So, we’ve been putting together a budget and a staffing structure which would give the 5 classes of 30 pupils the very best opportunity to achieve to the best of their abilities. We believe that God will sort out the rest because our intentions are just to serve the children and their families as God called us too.
Because we wish to trust God wholly with the finances for His school we’ve also decided to reduce our school fee structure to make One Way School even more affordable for our families. We now charge $400 a term for a full day (including hot lunch, afternoon snack, extra PE lessons and a homework club) and $300 for a half day which finishes at 12:30 when formal lessons are completed. The cheapest school around us, which is run by the government (where children learn in class sizes of 55), charges $120 per term and they finish at 12. In addition to this cost they provide termly stationary lists for the children to provide the books, paper, pens, rulers and classroom equipment they require. Even bleach and toilet paper are included. I went into the city of Harare to buy the entirety of this list and it set me back a further $70, 3 hours of my day, $2 to park plus fuel. Suddenly $190 a term doesn’t look so cheap I thought. So, although a parent would stay still pay an additional $270 a year to bring them to us they’ll know that they’re taught in a reasonable class size, not have to bother with shopping and in a positive Christian environment.
We are trusting God to bless One Way School as we try to serve those around us. Please pray for us to have 150 children registered and that they’ll continue to make great progress despite the financial challenges which our school (and all schools worldwide) struggle with.