As far as back as 1994, some Head Teachers, Principals, Superintendents and Directors of private schools, were grappling with how best the private school sector in Zambia could work together to promote teaching and learning: they were led by the International School of Lusaka (ISL). Their work proved to be fruitful: the following year 1995, the Independent Schools Association of Zambia (ISAZ) was formed - Arts Festivals, Sciences fairs, Continuing Professional Development (Teacher Collaboration) and inter-school Sports were up and running! The Association is still growing, with schools from as far as Monze through to Solwezi.
The ISAZ is a fully registered with the Registrar of Societies as an Association and operating within the law of the land.
The Headquarters of ISAZ is the International School of Lusaka. This is befitting because the ISL is the oldest international school in Zambia and took the lead in bringing together all the Heads of school and teachers who worked to form and build the Association.
The ISAZ being a formal organisation should have and indeed has a set of rules that guide the ways in which member schools associate - each member school has a copy of the Constitution.
The aims of the Association are:
To provide a forum for the discussion of matters of common interest.
To engage in any such activities as may be considered beneficial to the independent school movement in Zambia.
To enable the member schools to seek corporate association with similar bodies in other countries.
To provide a representative body with which others outside the Association can consult.
Our mission is to provide a forum for the promotion of common interests by building a public-spirited community of diverse independent schools in Zambia.
Any private school in Zambia may be eligible for membership, provided that the school is controlled by a duly constituted governing authority and enjoys recognition by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Zambia as a registered private primary or secondary school.
Member schools are found in Monze(1); Mazabuka(1); Lusaka(19); Chisamba(2); Mkushi(1); Ndola(3); Kitwe(2); Kalulushi(1); Chingola(1); Solwezi(5). In order to organise events more efficiently, the schools have been divided into 2 “regions”: Midlands (comprising Southern province and Lusaka Province schools) and Northern Region (comprising Copperbelt and Solwezi schools). Competitions and events are held in both regions which culminate in Regionals and then forward to Nationals where both regions come together.
The Northern Region is managed by a Sub-committee which reports to the Executive Committee - this has proved to be highly successful and efficient. The Executive Committee is based in Lusaka and manages the Midlands schools. There are 12 Executive Committee members as follows:
SUB-COMMITTEE CHAIR – NORTHERN REGION
SUB-COMMITTEE CHAIR – CONSTITUTION
SUB-COMMITTEE CHAIR – MEMBERSHIP
SUB-COMMITTEE CHAIR – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
SUB-COMMITTEE CHAIR - SPORTS
SUB-COMMITTEE CHAIR – CULTURAL EVENTS
Although Sports plays a major role in the ISAZ Calendar, going as far as to have “select” teams which compete against teams from other countries; ISAZ also has Science Fairs; Arts Festivals; and other activities for the development of both the student and teacher:
In 1995, the first ISAZ Teachers Teaching Teachers Conference was hosted by the International School of Lusaka (ISL) from 12 to 14 May. From 1996 to recent years, various schools have taken up the hosting of this event. Here, the teachers take the opportunity to teach each other any skills they have been acquired. There are also many other Professional Development opportunities for both academic and sports teachers during the year.
The Association has also developed affiliations with organisations that look at developing the students, e.g. the Duke of Edinburgh Award Zambia; World Scholars’ Cup; Junior Achievement; Childline; SPCA; SHARPZ; to name a few.
ISAZ is constantly seeking to improve the development of the students and teachers of member schools.