The challenge that the project addresses
Malawi has a high primary school dropout rate. The national annual average is 48%, according to Education Management Information System Report (2017). The dropout rate is also high in the upper classes for both boys and girls. This has a severe impact on the development of Malawi, as it hugely contributes to Malawi’s poverty levels. Therefore, encouraging boys and girls through role-modelling during primary school encourages them to remain in school and become responsible citizens in future.
What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?
To overcome this challenge, I initiated a voluntary role modelling scheme that involves a team I have assembled of well-educated individuals. We visit primary schools offering motivational talks. We share our stories of persevering through our education up to tertiary level and how we overcame our challenges. Top pupils in each class are awarded stationery and money to motivate them and their peers to work hard and be part of the programme.
Describe the project's impact
- We formed career aspiration clubs in the eight primary schools we visit. Pupils discuss their daily challenges that can lead to school dropout and help each other to overcome these. A teacher is selected to be a patron of the club.
- Girls are encouraged to work hard and gain more confidence. They are able to compete with boys after learning that boys and girls are the same. It was reported that three girls went back to school at Chudzu Primary School in Dowa after they dropped out due to early pregnancies.
- One boy told his teacher that he was encouraged to repeat Standard 8 after being encouraged by one of the role models to do that.