Introducing John Kapenda, Head Teacher
Introducing John Kapenda, Head Teacher of PEAS Kampinda Secondary School (Kasama, Northern Province, Zambia).
John joined PEAS in 2017 from Pestalozzi Education Centre, a Secondary School in Lusaka, where he served as Head Teacher. John brings over 23 years of experience to PEAS. As Head Teacher for PEAS’ newest school in Zambia, we interviewed him to find out more.
What excites you about PEAS?
What really excites me about PEAS is that I see it as a reflection of my life. I myself grew up in a poor family and struggled to go to school, and that gave me a desire to help the poor. When I look at the children that I work with I can see myself in them. There is potential in every child, but poverty hinders children. It’s the girl child that suffers the most as they’re never given the opportunity. My own sister married off at 13 as our family couldn’t afford to pay for her school fees. I look at her and I know that if she could have completed her education she would have had different opportunities in her life. That’s why I know how important it is not to neglect the girl child.
What are you most looking forward to in the new role?
The thing that I’m most looking forward to is the chance to share my life with the staff and the children, and to give them the self-esteem to see that in life there’s nothing that’s impossible. I want PEAS Kampinda to be an opportunity for all the children in the area – the children that pass through Kampinda can contribute to society and our country, as improving education is crucial to improving our country. Kampinda is more than a school, it’s a home and it’s a family!
What are your priorities for the year?
My priority is to establish the school according to expectations – mine and those of the community. I want the children at Kampinda to have a sense of belonging and love. And also of course the staff – I want the staff to miss the school when they’re not there.
What has surprised you about PEAS Kampinda Secondary School?
The children themselves – when we were recruiting them we were told they had achieved low academic results but the longer they stay at Kampinda the longer I am impressed by them – they’ve had some really interesting, positive and mature academic, moral and spiritual discussions. We cannot only judge children on their exam results. They have huge potential and we should help them discover it.