Education on the shores of Lake Malawi by Ivy Chinkhuntha

A month after the first ever Women’s Skill Sharing Expedition, I take you back to Rainbow Hope Secondary School (RHSS) in Mangochi on the shores of Lake Malawi. The women made a very big impact on the academic life of the students there. It was my first time visiting the school. I was amazed at how students were willing to learn from the experts. Their questions, the joy and the fun that was packed in the two days we spent there are priceless. There were several activities lined up on the first day. These included First Aid training for Teachers and Students, Exam and Revision Technique, Future Careers and Jobs, Team Building – working together as a class. There were also sessions on the future of technology and how it will open the world, WhatsApp for business, starting your own business, Permaculture and Nutrition. The visit was spiced up with dances where I saw the visitors and students dancing together before we went for a netball match between the girls and the women.

Womens Ex Friends

The challenge of Education in Rural Malawi

As a girl who attended both rural and urban settings, and now living in the urban set up now, I made a quick summary of these two different students (the rural and the urban). In this age, information technology has taken a big turn. The use of search engines has become so useful in the past few years. Besides, a lot of experts live in the urban areas which means the urban students are exposed to better career guidance than the rural students. It is therefore amazing how the rural students keep up with studies and perform even much better than the urban students. RHSS has seen a lot of change in the last few years with the building of a new school blocks, and they recently installed solar power. This is a very big development not just to RHSS students but also to other students surrounding the area. They all come to this school in the evenings and/or earlier morning to study. With Malawi experiencing power shortage, solar energy becomes handy.

Womens Ex Kelly TEaching RHSS

The impact of visitors on the secondary school and its students.

In a nutshell, much as both students use the same Syllabus, the rural student has little exposure than the urban student and the only way they can get the knowledge they need is through books. RHSS is privileged to receive guests every now and then who among other things, help to build the self-esteem of the students and help them make the right career decisions. This brings me to the BookBus International that has partnered with CISER. This is a fun activity where children are taught how to read and practice reading in English with fellow children and guided by Bookbus reading champions at the children’s book bus library and during field sessions at local primary schools (Standard 1 to 4). This is one activity that RSC clients do at RHSS/CISER.  Clients are engaged in a literacy and reading program called “I am a Reader” which CISER is implementing. They read and play with the children and learn how various books are categorized to various children. The activity is suitable for clients with children. These are future RHSS students who will make Malawi even better in their time.

CISER Reading Library2. 2016 Elizabeth

Better learning environments in the rural area is a privilege and it reminds me of Aristotle’s word “the roots of education are bitter but the fruits are sweet”. No matter what education throws at you, keep pushing because the more you learn the more you get exposed to greater knowledge and the more you realise that the future is bright. 

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