Banani International School

Private Bag RW 199X
Lusaka, 15102
Zambia Show map
+260 (0)1 213 821

Banani International Secondary School is a private, non-profit school for girls in Grades 8 through 12, established in 1993 and registered with the Ministry of Education. It is governed by a Board of Directors of the William Mmutle Masetlha Foundation and administered by the Principal.

The decision to open a school for only girls was based on education statistics for Zambia, which revealed that girl children lagged far behind boys in the number of secondary school places occupied. The Masetlha Foundation considers the education of girls an indispensable element of human development, one that must be vigorously pursued in Africa if the material and spiritual progress of the continent is to be accelerated. Furthermore, as a non-profit organization based on the principles of the Bahá’í Faith, the Foundation and the School subscribe strongly to the Bahá’í principle of equality of women and men, that without equal status and a full partnership in human affairs, civilization cannot advance.

Planning began in 1987 and construction started in 1990. Individual contributions, both from within and outside of the country, kept the project moving forward during the two-and-a-half-year construction period. The school opened on January 31, 1993 with 65 students. By inauguration day in 1996, there were 120 students. These years also saw the development of a library, a multimedia computer lab, a swimming pool, and the purchase of a school bus.

The school has attracted staff from Australia, Canada, DR Congo, India, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zimbabwe, in addition to its core of Zambian teachers. The school attracts students from Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Bahá’í backgrounds and a universal, global outlook is encouraged with respect for all cultures, races, and religions. The School’s motto "Let Your Vision Be World Embracing" is expressed through an academic and social curriculum designed to assist the students to develop a vision and awareness of the needs of an increasingly complex world. Emphasis is placed on the importance of acquiring virtues and living a moral life - a spiritual education found in all faiths (see "A Bahá’í Perspective on Education").

Banani School was officially inaugurated on May 18, 1996 by the Minister of Education, Hon. A. Hambayi in conjunction with Mr. Kiser Barnes, member of the Bahá’í International Teaching Centre, Counsellors Mrs. Lali Warren and Dr. Firaydoun Javaheri, with Mr. Hasan Sabri of the Office of Social and Economic Development. The principal supporters of the school, Dr. Faramarz and Mrs. Bahiyyeh Ettahadieh from Austria, were also present. Among the 300 people in attendance was special guest Mrs. Bahiyyeh Winkler of South Africa and others involved over the years with the Board of Directors, the Youth Year of Service programme, the construction and engineering teams, and other areas of service.

The programme was graciously chaired by Counsellor Warren and many inspiring speeches were made on the progress of the School, the vision of Bahá’í education, the importance of educating girls, and the Ministry of Education’s policy of encouraging such private ventures in Zambia, especially for the girl child. A moving letter addressed to the gathering by the late Mrs. Banani, who passed away shortly before the event, was read by Mr. Sabri. The speeches were interspersed with presentations by the Banani School Choir, Drama Group, and Dance Workshop. The food was lovingly prepared and the events of the day befittingly inaugurated what had already become one of Zambia’s top secondary schools.

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