During June, the Mozambique Ministry of Education (MoE) hosted CSTL partners. The visitors included representatives from the following funding and implementing partners: the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (CSTL funding partner), represented by Mr Christian Engler and Lawrence Lewis; and MIET AFRICA (CSTL implementing partner), represented by Lucas Chachine (Board member), Lynn van der Elst (CEO), Pontsi Buthelezi (CSTL team leader) and Sindi Zulu (CSTL Regional Coordinator).
The visit commenced with a meeting at the MoE headquarters in Maputo, where the MoE’s Director of Health and Nutrition, Dr Arlinda Chaquisse, gave a presentation on the progress of CSTL in the country. She highlighted the strong collaboration between government and non-government partners in the strengthening of the education system, using CSTL as an overarching framework to guide the MoE’s response to addressing learning barriers faced by children and youth. Dr Chaquisse shared how CSTL has been contextualized to address priorities in Mozambique,
On 9 May, the Malawian Ministry of Education, Science and Technology hosted a visit by SDC and MIET AFRICA (CSTL’s funding and implementing partners, respectively) to two CSTL laboratory schools.
This report by MIET AFRICA’s CEO, Lynn van der Elst
Chingoli is a large primary school (Grades 1–8), with an enrolment of over 2000 learners, who are drawn from a severely impoverished area outside Blantyre. The school was physically destroyed by the floods in 2015, and since then has been operating out of a church hall and tents provided by UNICEF, while it awaits the building of new premises.
During the visit, the principal, teachers, parents and learners all testified about the transformation the school experienced regarding how learners are treated since the introduction of CSTL. Furthermore, we saw the value that CSTL capacity-building has had for the teachers and learners:
Teachers shared with us how they have integrated care and support into the Life Skills curriculum,
A South African school has been accused of racism for allegedly telling black girls to straighten their hair and not wear afros.
Pupils at Pretoria High School for Girls have said they were forced to chemically straighten their hair and not have afros that were deemed untidy. Over the weekend, students donning afro hairstyles and braids held a protest at the school to voice anger against the alleged longstanding rule. (Read about it in the attached file.)
What issues does this raise about rights, prejudice and discrimination at this school, specifically? On a wider front: enforcing school uniforms and prescribed ways of wearing your hair—does that help to inculcate discipline, or is it exclusionary?
How best would you suggest building a socially cohesive culture based on respect and celebration of diversity?
“With effect from 20 January 2016, no person, male or female, may enter into any marriage, including an unregistered customary law union or any other union, including one arising out of religion or religious rite, before attaining the age of 18.”
This ground breaking ruling by the full Constitutional Court in Zimbabwe followed an application by two Harare women (aged 19 and 20 years), themselves child brides, seeking to challenge the Customary Marriages Act, arguing that the Act was infringing on the constitutional rights of young girls and boys and exposing the girl child to the devastating consequences of early marriage: depriving girls of an education, exposing them to sexual violence, increasing the risks of sexually transmitted infections including HIV, early pregnancy and related maternal and child mortality. Both the incidence of child marriage and the consequences are exacerbated by poverty, especially in rural areas with poor access to services.
The stunning views of Table Mountain and the Cape Town harbour from the glass lifts of the hotel greeted delegates to the 2015 Annual CSTL Sharing Meeting. Over 70 participants representing SADC Member States attended.
The energy in the opening session was electric, as participants heard inspiring welcoming remarks from SDC (the funder), the SADC Secretariat and MIET AFRICA’s CEO. Then Mr Rindai Jaravaza, an MIET AFRICA Trustee, gave a powerful keynote address, setting out the factors critical to successful implementation, including transparency, accountability, clear communication, and realism. His closing words are a wake-up call for all of us: “When I went to school, the key resources were the black board, chalk and a whip. This will not suffice in the rights based societies of today!”
The opening session ended with a bang, literally. Delegates were treated to a performance by the Pennsylvanians, a Cape Townian minstrel band.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) recently visited three SADC Member States that are benefiting from SDC funding support to the CSTL programme. The countries visited were Zambia, Swaziland and Malawi. Read the latest CSTL Newletter to learn more about the visit and other CSTL related news.
In December 2014, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation-funded (SDC) Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) initiative saw two new SADC Member States, Zimbabwe and Malawi, officially join the programme. Inception meetings in both countries took place in December and plans to commence intensive implementation were put in place, and will commence in 2015. Zimbabwe and Malawi join Mozambique, Zambia, DRC, South Africa and Swaziland, bringing the total number of countries intensively implementing CSTL to seven.
The CSTL programme was unanimously adopted by the Education Ministers of all Member States of SADC at a meeting in Zambia on 4 July 2008. This programme supports the Education Ministers to fulfil their commitments and intentions of providing quality education to all children. The programme was developed by the SADC Secretariat, in partnership with MIET AFRICA, UNESCO Regional Office and UNICEF ESARO, and provides a comprehensive approach to addressing the barriers to teaching and learning that are associated with health- and poverty-related challenges.