In many rural secondary schools in Malawi, inadequacy of teaching and learning materials such as textbooks and exercise books is one of the major problems. This has made many students fail to perform well in their studies, hence, aborting their dreams of going to college. Worse for the girls, if they lack chance to excel in education, they tend to exchange their bright future for early marriages. Most of these girls lose their way into a bright future as they indulge in such counterproductive behavior.
As one way of curbing or containing this challenge, Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) distributed supplementary reading books to through its Community Day Secondary Schools. These are schools which are under its project called Improving Educational Quality in Community Day Secondary Schools (IEQ-CDSS). The project targets 36 CDSSs from 4 districts of The impact schools are 36 drawn from Thyolo, Mulanje, Ntchisi and Chitipa Districts. The books in question were donated by Better World Trust in the year 2019. Thyolo has 16 schools, Mulanje has 4, Ntchisi has 8 and Chitipa has 8.
The main aim of donating the books, which were accompanied with some solar lamps for literacy was to improve quality of education in Community Day Secondary Schools. The books donated came from multiple disciplines such as English, Science, History, Geography and Mathematics.
CRECCOM conducted monitoring visits recently in the IEQ-CDSS impact schools, and Kasupe CDSS was one of the visited schools. The Deputy Head Teacher for Kasupe Community Day Secondary School, Mr. Thomas Mendulo thanked CRECCOM for the donation of books as they have generated a positive impact on the students. “Before the donation of the supplementary books by CRECCOM, our school used to experience a lot of challenges. But thanks to CRECCOM, teachers are now able to use various books for teaching different subjects,” said Mendulo.
A form 2 student from the school, John Kaphwasa, aged 18, said that he is now able to borrow the books from the school library to read at home unlike in the past..
Kaphwasa also said that his English proficiency has improved since the time he started reading the Better World Trust donated books.
“The books which CRECCOM donated have helped me improve my vocabulary in English, hence my English proficiency is much better,” Said Kaphwasa.
In his concluding remarks, the Deputy Headteacher again commended CRECCOM for the training offered to English teachers at the beginning of IEQ-CDSS and the subsequent refresher trainings to improve in their teaching and learning practicum. This initiative has helped teachers deliver lessons in learner-centered manner. The teachers were trained alongside colleagues from the other IEQ-CDSS impact schools. This was what Mr. Mendulo said, “Most people usually think that CDSSs cannot produce students who have good English proficiency and even high pass rates. With continuous professional development trainings from CRECCOM, many students are now passing their examinations with flying colours. For instance, last year 72 students passed their Malawi School Certificate Examination (MSCE) much higher than before the CRECCOM trainings.