PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION IN MALAWI, AFRICA
We run eight pre-schools, providing an early childhood education to over 800 children every day in Malawi. The children learn the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and much more. Singing, dancing and play are important parts of the day, and at the end of each morning, the children receive a nutritious meal of sweet potatoes. Since Ripple Africa opened its first pre-school, more than 4,000 children have benefited from the flying start that Ripple Africa is giving them.
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Early Childhood Education in Malawi, Africa
Achievements and Future Plans
How We Work
Our Pre-school Coordinator manages all eight pre-schools and 27 teachers, and monitors them regularly. We run regular training sessions for the teachers and children are encouraged to come to school to get a sweet potato breakfast. We also make the children’s education fun and effective.
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Why It Is So Important
Ripple Africa supports eight pre-schools in Nkhata Bay District by:
- paying the salaries of three teachers per pre-school, three floating teachers who cover staff absences and a Pre-School Co-Ordinator who manages them
- providing resources such as toys, blackboards and chalk, pens, books and supplies, tea and sugar
maintaining and improving pre-school buildings as necessary
- paying for the pre-school teachers to grow sweet potatoes which they prepare and feed to the children every day
- enhancing the work done by the preschool teachers through the involvement of overseas volunteers who often help in the classroom.
Most people recognise the critical link between the important foundation which early childhood education provides, and the level of success in education students will experience later on. Those first formative years are essential to a child’s education and development as a whole.
The Malawian government recognises this link and encourages communities to set up local pre-schools. However, with no financial support, the reality is that pre-schools are almost always run on a voluntary basis without any resources, and most teachers work for free, often in buildings which are unsuitable and even unsafe for children.
Ripple Africa is making a difference to early childhood education in Africa by ensuring that all the pre-schools it supports are equipped with the essential components necessary to providing this foundation:
- enthusiastic teachers
- varied learning resources
- a safe and fun place to learn
- co-ordinated support from Ripple Africa at a senior level.
Ripple Africa is providing a benefit to hundreds of young children, providing local employment to pre-school teachers, and, through the sweet potato project, helping communities to look after their most vulnerable youngsters.
Many children in Malawi are orphans or live in extreme poverty and often struggle to find enough food to eat, let alone find the time to focus on their education. Our sweet potato project means that they get a hot meal whenever they attend pre-school. This helps improve concentration, creates an incentive to attend pre-school, and reaches out to the most vulnerable children in the community by providing a benefit not only to their educational needs but also to their health. Each teacher is paid a small bonus for growing the sweet potatoes, which also helps to improve their own income. Read more about our sweet potato project.
What We Have Achieved
Ripple Africa supports pre-school education in Malawi by helping eight pre-schools locally in the villages of Chiomba, Chitungulu, Kachere, Katenthere, Matete (which has two preschools, Matete 1 and Matete 2), Mazembe, and Mwaya.
- We pay the salaries of 27 teachers and a manager.
- We provide regular professional training for all our staff.
- We replace toys and other resources regularly as they are well used!
- Over 800 children attend these pre-schools and receive a hot meal each day.
- We have rebuilt three pre-schools and have built a new pre-school so that the children were not learning at the local clinic.
- We undertake regular maintenance and repainting to keep all our pre-schools safe and fun for the children.
How We Work
Our Pre-school Coordinator manages all of our eight pre-schools and teachers, and he monitors them regularly. We make the children’s education fun and effective, and they are encouraged to keep coming to school for their sweet potatoes which are grown and provided by the teachers. We have a robust safeguarding policy to ensure that all children attending are protected.
The Project's Future
Early childhood education is really important. We will continue to support our eight pre-schools by paying the salaries of teachers, maintaining the buildings and providing resources. We will also provide the opportunity for volunteer overseas pre-school teachers to work with our staff and ensure that we share best practice.
This project addresses the following Sustainable Development Goals: