Primary School Project in Malawi
In Malawi, education is not compulsory and only 50 percent of children attend primary school. Of the children who attend primary school, only 25 percent graduate. Even for those who do graduate, many regions of Malawi lack secondary schools. Most schools do not have basic resources such as desks, chairs, textbooks, pens, and notebooks. Classes are often held outdoors because of a shortage of classrooms.
There can be up to 170 children in a single class and teachers often must teach two classes at once. Only 2/3 of teachers have completed a formal 2-year training. The illiteracy rate in the country is one of the highest in the world (at around 50 percent).
We work with a government run local primary school in our village of Lifuwu. The primary school offers education to children between 7 and 14 years old (Standard 1 to Standard 8). The size of the classes vary between 60 and 170 students. We aim to support the school by sending volunteers, donating learning materials, such as books and pens, and helping maintain the facilities.
We constructed various shelters so that the classes taught outside can continue when it rains. In addition, we constructed a fully furnished school block including all the desks for classes up to 100 children. We regularly donate learning and teaching materials.
Unfortunately there is no secondary school in our area so many parents remove their children from school to help the family make a living. Without hope for further education, it is understandable why many of the parents think school is a waste of time.
Despite all the difficulties reaching a secondary school in our area, some children still undertake this next step in their education and we support many of them with an education sponsorship. We support the families by paying for school fees, transport, food and learning materials. A Secondary Education Sponsorship only costs USD 18 per month. Please consider making this important donation and see our Wish List Malawi for more information: DOWNLOAD PDF.
Your role as a volunteer
Teaching Assistant and Tutoring: Teaching English to the students is one of the top priorities for our projects in Malawi. As a volunteer you will assist the teachers at Kazembe by delivering English lessons to the older students. You will be assigned a class, usually from Standard 5 up to Standard 8. You may also decide to teach other subjects such as Maths, Science, Life Skills, etc., depending on your skills and interests. Additionally, you will tutor the students by supporting the learners with their assignments and helping those which fall behind in their work with one-to-one attention during the classes. Whenever you feel comfortable, you may also decide to take over the lesson under the supervision of the teacher.
After School Programs: The “Afternoon Club” and "Kids Corner" at Kazembe are programs aimed at adding value not only to the education of the kids, but also to their personal development. The Afternoon Club focuses on students in Standards 6, 7, and 8 working on English speaking, reading, and writing skills and mixing in some sports for fun. Kids Corner concentrates on the lower Standards working with the kids on their English through arts & crafts, games, and sports.. You will be organizing interactive learning activities such as games, songs, English classes, readings, arts & crafts and sports. As most of the children are idle in the afternoon, we believe that the after school programs represent a great opportunity for the kids to spend their time in a profitable way as well as for the volunteers to get to know the kids.