When he was a student, Chionetsero Msampha thought teachers were just there to teach students how to write and read.
Today he says this view was narrow as teachers act as parents and mentors. He says they do not only wish their students the best but also show them a path to success.
Msampha, a teacher at Kavumbiri Primary School in Kasungu South, says to be a teacher is to choose to be a servant of children.
But the teacher is quick to acknowledge the role of Creative Centre for Community Mobilisation (CRECCOM) who inculcated the values that have helped him in his career.
It was in 2006 when he became part of Mobilisation Corps of Malawi (MCM), a project under CRECCOM. He was posted to Ngara Zone first before going to Mponela Zone. He was responsible for Nauchi, Kamongo and Mkomera primary schools.
During his stay with CRECCOM, Msampha learned to be patient with children. This was the time that made him realize that teachers have a major role to play in the development of children.
He explains: “Walking around villages to engage parents on school dropouts opened my eyes to the realities of life. Children dropped out due to many factors ranging from poverty to parents’ neglect.
“However, I convinced parents to utilize free primary education to create a good future for their children.”
Msampha says his interaction with parents, community leaders and others earned him respect in society. Although he was young, traditional leaders accorded him the respect of an elder.
“That’s how powerful MCMs were in communities. So, I decided to become a teacher to continue shaping children into better citizens,” he remembers.
Msampha studied at Kasungu Teacher Training College and graduated in 2010. He was posted to Tchetsa Primary School in Dedza District. He stated there from 2011 to 2014.
In 2018 the Ministry of Education transferred him to Kavumbiri Primary School in Kasungu. He says CRECCOM helped him to understand the role of a teacher better.