Chiwamba Headteacher (in black clothes) and Safe School Committee showcasing their new changeroom
Chiwamba primary school is one of the primary schools which is located in the rural part of Balang’ombe zone in Lilongwe district
The headteacher for the school, Hastings Chimbamba said that there has been several positive impacts due to the formation of a safe school committee at the school in terms of students’ performance
“Both male and female students are performing well in class as compared to at first. Boys were perceived as those who are supposed to be doing well in class than girls,” said Chimbamba
Female students used to not work hard in mathematics and science subjects since they used to think that such subjects are supposed to be performed well by boys but female students are now able to perform well in class in the subjects.
Chimbamba said that they used to empower the female students that they are also capable of doing well in mathematics and science subjects.
Chimbamba said that there has been increased interaction between both male and female students
“Both male and female students can seat together in class during class lessons than it was in the past,” said Chimbamba
According to a Parent Teacher’s Association Chairperson at the school, Brighton Ntakataka said that the dressing has also been improved at the school for most of the female students.
They used to wear short uniforms and most of the male students and teachers used to get irritated with it
The headteacher said that they used the knowledge they received during the training under the Girls get Equal project to inform the teachers that they should be putting both male and female students in one group during classroom lessons and even classroom composition and this invited togetherness among the students.
After learning the importance of having a change room at their school during training they received by CRECCOM during Safe School Committee training, Chimbamba said that Chiwamba primary school constructed a changeroom for their female students.
Chimbamba said that the PTA committee molded bricks, parents drew sand for construction and through the School Improvement Grants (SIG), 2 bags of cement were bought for MK 7500.00 each and the builder for the change room charged a fee of MK30,000.00
One of the students at the school, Jenipher Phiri, 15, said that she used to go to the teachers’ houses to access a toilet and use it as a change room as there was no change room at the school
“I used to go to toilets that are located at our teachers’ houses and use them as changeroom and they are far away from the classes which made me miss most of the class lessons,” said Phiri.
Martha Katema, 16, a student at the school said that she used to be absent from school when she was on her period stage knowing that the school had no changeroom.
“I used to miss a lot of classes more since I was supposed to go outside the class and then go to one of the teacher’s houses and get assisted in their toilets,” said Katema.