Although learners in Malawi are introduced to English as a language of communication during the early years of their education, many continue to struggle along up to secondary school. Rural students also face multiple constraints stemming from the education system itself. Over 90% of rural learners selected to Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSSs) have poor English language proficiency, indicating low educational quality at the primary level (CRECCOM 2015).
According to Kalenge CDSS English teacher, Mr. K Mbughi, teaching English has always been a challenge until when CRECCOM arrived at the school in 2018 with English interventions. Among others the IEQ-CDSS project-oriented the English teachers to the modern strategies of teaching English which Mr. Mbughi found beneficial.
“At first we as English teachers at Kalenge ignored the English books since they were not part of the prescribed books for the syllabus. When I first saw the book donation from CRECCOM I complained and wished they donated prescribed books which are in shortage. As a teacher am more concerned with my students passing exams hence, I used to think that using books outside the curriculum was a waste of time.” Narrated Mr. MbughiIn addition, CRECCOM donated supplementary books for students to use to improve their English proficiency. Among the donated books were the MCDE sets and also the Better World Trust books.
According to Mr. Mbughi, the books were displayed in the library but ignored by both teachers and students.
“One day a form 3 student came to meet me in the staff room and had a big book in his hands and it was a literature book. The student shared with me that he had been browsing through the book and found a text on Mac Berth one of the prescribed English literature texts for MSCE. I had to cross-check the content and found that the book had the best literature and perfect language for my students” Narrated Mbughi
Since that day Mr. Mbughi has not gone to class to teach literature without the book. Students were encouraged to read the book and many had recommended it.
“The books are very helpful. I have been using these books to teach different lessons such as note making, comprehension, and others. I encourage my students to read the books through and they are enjoying them. Am grateful to the project for the donation. My work has been made simpler. Share Mr. Mbughi