Today the library at Hope Secondary school was open for the first time. Even at break time, students were in the library pouring over the text books, reference books and novels. Their desire to learn is huge and with no books at home the library means they have access to material which will fuel their imaginations and help with their education. They are looking forward to borrowing books to take home.
Amidst great celebration Hope CDSS opened on 22nd February with 55 excited students attending for the first time. Most of these students would not have been selected to secondary school if Hope were not opening as there are not enough secondary school places in this rural part of rural Blantyre. For most students the walk to school is now shorter although many will be walking up to an hour to get to school on dirt tracks.
We were able to provide the students with pencil cases and exercise books because of generous donations through sponsorship, We also talked about the hope that the students can have to reach their potential and impact their communities. A wonderful day!
The schools have opened once again for a new school year. Due you a delay in examinations due to Covid-19, the school year has been pushed back from September to January. Unfortunately, this is not the only problem that currently exists. Additionally the schools are not allowed to feed the children Phala at the schools due to the pandemic. This means that many of the children turn up to school hungry and some do not even turn up at all. The students who do show up are likely to have lower attention spans and less ability to learn new information due to hunger and the potential onset of malnutrition – which could potentially stunt their growth. Although the government has implemented this scheme as a measure against Covid-19 it will potentially have irreversible effects on education and development due to a loss of cognitive function from a large portion of the future work-force if these programmes are not re-implemented into the schools.
Hope4Malawi has been able to give some Phala to some of the students and their families, 500 in total but this is significantly less than the number of students that were being fed from the 3 Feeding programmes that Hope4Malawi are funding.
Thank you to those who sponsor students from poor families who are at National and District secondary schools. 48 students sponsored by Hope4Malawi started a new school year this week, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to go to national and district schools. 5 are girls and in an environment where girls often drop out of school during primary school this is so encouraging.
Over the last week Malawi has seen a huge rise in the number of daily cases of Covid-19, with 2500 in the first 11 days of this new year, resulting in 235 deaths. Of these were 2 high-ranking government officials; the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Transport. As directed by the President of Malawi they are currently in a period of mourning (3 days) for the loss of death they have had recently – flying their national flags at half-mast.
Additionally, on the 12th January 2021, Malawi announced a state of national disaster, seeking assistance from the international community, the UN, NGO’s and the private sector in order to aid contributions towards the present challenges of the pandemic.
Meet Helen who has supported Hope4Malawi for several years. At last years marathon she raised funds to support 2 students at Hope Secondary School. Thank you to ALL who generously support our educational projects to provide improved learning opportunities and bring hope to children in Malawi.
We are thrilled to say all these students have been selected to Hope CDSS, which opens its doors for the first time on 1st February. 21 out of 27 top year students from Chipwepwete primary are selected, way above the national average of 30%. They will be joined by students from other local primary schools to make a class of 59 Form 1s. If you’d like to support one of the students to enable them to be well resourced please message us. Secondary school education is proven to raise earning potential for people in poor communities.
The Minister of Education, Hon Agnes NyaLonje, yesterday said ‘Out of the 225,387 students who passed the 2019/20 examinations, a total of 84,947 candidates have been selected to start Form One in various secondary schools. This represents only 37.73% of those who passed the examination. This means that 140,440 eligible students have been left out. This is due to the severe shortage of secondary school spaces. It is for this reason that my Ministry has made construction of additional secondary schools a top priority.”
Although this is a major issue for the majority of the 140,000 students who did not get a secondary school place, we have to start somewhere. From February 2021 our new secondary school, Hope CDSS, will provide 59 new secondary school places this year. Built in partnership with @fishermansrestmalawi and Opening on 1 February, the school also means students have a shorter than 2 hour walk to get to school.
We’ve been able to fund ‘Phala’, dried food, for over 500 children and their families whilst feeding programmes in schools are suspended due to covid19. This has been organised by our partner @fishermansrestmalawi who deliver feeding programmes for schools in Malawi.
Using econometrics many studies have looked into the rate of return to education across many different countries, and thus the true benefits to improving access to education in the developing world.
According to Chirwa and Matita (2009, p14) , with every “additional year of schooling increases the yearly lifetime earning by 10% on average”, 9.7% for males and 11.4% for females. Additionally, the rate of return to secondary school education if completed is 15.4% up from 5.1% for primary education.
Thus for the 50 students who receive a place at Hope Community Day Secondary School (CDSS), they will on average have a much higher salary than if they had not gone to secondary school. In time their perceived value of education will also grow, thus on average also increasing the level of education their children will receive (Divon-Ross, 2014).
Chirwa, E. W., and M.M. Matita. 2009. “The Rate of Return of Education in Malawi.” University of Malawi Working Paper 2009/01.
Dizon-Ross, Rebecca. 2014. “Parents’ perceptions and children’s education: Experimental evidence from Malawi.” Unpublished Manuscript.