Over 10 years ago, a diverse group of people, got together to build a school that is today Baobab College. The school?s beginnings were as original as the baobab tree is different from all others.
In October 1992 two friends were at a funeral and started chatting about what they would do about schooling, as both had one young child. One came up with the original solution: Let’s build a school! And so the seed was planted and a dream began. These two pioneers, Heather Chalcraft and Nick Lostrom, met to determine who they would invite to sit on the Board. They were calculating and shrewd in their selection. Although all those that were invited to be members were upstanding citizens of the community and very likeable people, there were clearly ulterior motives for calling on them. All had young children. One had land; one had a construction company; one had a passion for education; one was financially-minded. And so the Board began with 8 founder members, Heather Chalcraft and Nick Lostrom, Jumbo van Blerk, Paul Golson, Klaske Hiemstra, Guy Blachford, Mark O?Donald, Alfie Francis with Paul as Chairman. It was decided that the Founder members would be ?members for life?.
Soon the matter of a name for the school arose. Randomly, one member said ?Baobab? and the others instantly knew that was the name. And so, on 26 May 1993, Baobab Trust School Ltd was incorporated.
In between all this, word was spreading about the plan to build a school and members of the community were approaching the Board members with much enthusiasm. As one Board member put it, ?After counting up the number of children on the Board at that time and on a few promised enrollments, it was realized there were just enough little monsters to get the school up, running and open.? Some parents did balk at the idea of school uniforms, but the Board was determined to stick with their vision of a more traditional school.
Now that the school had been officially formed, staffing was the next valuable commodity to be sourced. Rosemary Kirby was employed by Nkwazi School at the time and agreed to come on board as the Head with the proviso that Mavis Jackman, her administrator, could come with her. Beryl Roberts and Roshni Karanja leapt in boldly as teachers and the school was now equipped to teach from Reception classes to Grade 6.
At the end of Year 11 students sit IGCSE exams through CIE. Sixth Form students follow AS/A level programmes. In 2005, Baobab College was awarded Fellowship Centre Status by CIE – the only school in Zambia to achieve this award. From 15 pupils and 4 members of staff in January 1994, the school has outgrown its original small town house into a school in picturesque woodland a short drive from Lusaka to accommodate today’s 490 students and 100 staff. There are students from 26 countries and staff of 14 nationalities.
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