Stories from Malawi

Stories from Malawi

Chingoli Primary School puts CSTL into practice

After being included in the Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Programme at the start of 2016, Chingoli Primary School has put CSTL principles into practice to support vulnerable learners.

Material support to vulnerable learners

Firstly, Chingoli has introduced a programme to provide material support to needy students for example, by providing them with school uniforms.
After they attended the CSTL training, teachers contacted partners and the business community to raise funds to buy materials to make uniform for learners. The school has also set aside one day a month when teachers and students alike make a voluntary contribution to the fund for this.

Formation of partnerships

The CSTL Programme has encouraged schools to form partnerships, and Chingoli School approached various organizations to join hands in caring and supporting vulnerable children.

Highlights of Mozambique Visit (12–15 June 2017)

Highlights of Mozambique Visit (12–15 June 2017)

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,

CSTL Malawi hosts visitors

CSTL Malawi hosts visitors

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,

SADC Policy Framework on Care and Support for Teaching and Learning launched in Swaziland

SADC Policy Framework on Care and Support for Teaching and Learning launched in Swaziland

The following article is from: Swazi Observer, Monday December 12, 2016
… ‘Countries must make secondary school more affordable’

SADC countries are required to make primary education free, pre-primary and secondary school more affordable, through comprehensive schooling polices that address all education costs.

SADC is the Southern African Development Community.

This will include fees, transport and school uniforms and compensate schools adequately for maintaining good educational quality.

According to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) policy framework on care and support for teaching and learning, all countries under the SADC should adopt and implement the framework.

On that note, Director of Education Dr Sibongile Mtshali said primary school attendance remained a challenge, resulting in 20 per cent of enrolled children not completing their education.

Mtshali was speaking at Esibayeni Lodge on Thursday during the official launch of the SADC framework.

Hair at school—stirring up a controversy

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?


Child marriages outlawed in Zimbabwe

Child marriages outlawed in Zimbabwe

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.

CSTL comes to Cape Town: Annual Sharing Meeting, 23-26 November 2015

CSTL comes to Cape Town: Annual Sharing Meeting, 23-26 November 2015

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.