by David Hoskins
With a 27-year history of delivering high quality education, Baobab College in Lusaka lays the foundations for children to succeed in turbulent times.
Nestled in its beautiful green campus at the heart of Lusaka’s burgeoning Lilayi suburb, the institution is one of Zambia’s recognized education powerhouses.
The school’s founding vision was the provision of education of the highest standard for children of all abilities from Zambia’s diverse community.
The British national curriculum was adopted for all sections of the school and has been maintained and updated up to today, always with an eye on relevance in an ever-changing world.
Today, Baobab has the broadest range of subjects up to A Level of any school in Zambia. Students have gone on to study in all corners of the world, with alumni currently found at universities in Zambia, UK, Europe, India, China, South Africa, Australia, USA and Canada.
Diversity is key as students are not moulded into a particular career path, but rather are given the resources and the grounding to be a success in their chosen field, whatever their beginning.
Perhaps, what sets Baobab apart above all, is family. The community of learners thinks of itself as family. The family extends not only to the students, but also the alumni, the staff, the parents and the wider community connected to Baobab College.
The ethos runs through from early years up to senior college and gives a sense of belief and a sense of belonging. Baobab’s boarding community only enhances this family feel. Baobab is home away from home.
Students have been known to learn at Baobab for as long as 17 years—from age two up to A Level. This long-term commitment ensures that the community stands firm, in the knowledge that the Baobab community will always be there.
The school works hard for its community and when Covid-19 broke out and spread, Baobab acted quickly to support its families struggling with social and economic changes.
That support package was impressive. With an immediate investment in IT infrastructure, no teaching days were lost for school closure as the school moved immediately to online learning.
Investment continued in 2021 with the launch of Baobab Firefly, an online portal for parents, teachers and students to access school work, submit tasks and feedback. The portal facilitates access to teaching and learning, even in the event of school closure.
In response to the hardships of 2020, the school reduced its school fees by 10 per cent.
Baobab further invested in its families with a uniform bursary, giving all its families access to free uniform.
There was a cash injection into the school’s generous scholarships and bursaries programme, which allowed the school to support families who found themselves in serious financial need due to Covid-19.
Uniquely in Zambia, Baobab College operates the Relationship Model of Management and Governance.
The relationship model underpins an ethos of collaboration, of mutual respect and affirmation in all relationships, whether between children and staff, or teachers and parents. The model advocates long-term investment in relationships, and values every individual as equal.
It is this ethos that continues to give the school the impetus to invest in family, to invest in its children and its alumni, to lead us into the future.