Educators make a major impact in Malawi

Teachers and students from the University of Bedfordshire are transforming the way education is delivered in a remote part of Malawi.

The University is in the second year of a three-year project to pass on teaching skills in English, Maths, Science, PE and Life Skills to primary teachers in Malawi.

The Faculty of Education, Sport and Tourism (EST), based at the Bedford campus, was awarded a £59,000 grant over three years from the British Council in 2011 to support Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to teachers in rural Malawi, in partnership with St Joseph’s Teacher Training College in Dedza, Malawi.

Following last year’s successful launch, the University recently welcomed three education lecturers from St. Joseph's Teacher Training College, on a ten day fact finding trip.

During their visit, Jordan Namondwe, Alexina Nthani and James Kamzati met with University staff to learn about the English education system and the National Curriculum. The University also arranged visits to local schools in Bedford, at Priory Lower School, Queens Park Lower School Academy and Goldington Academy to show the guests the English school system in action.

Professor Kate Jacques, the University’s former Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean who is coordinating the project, said: “I’m delighted that the University welcomed our guests from Malawi, to offer them first-hand experience of the English teaching system.”

“I’m also very proud that the University of Bedfordshire continues to make a major contribution to the DelPHE Malawi Project. Life in Malawi is not easy. It is a poor country and there is the constant threat of malaria and other diseases. Many children are orphaned due to HIV”

Last year, a group of EST staff and students visited Malawi to provide additional guidance and support to local teachers and pupils. Together with St Joseph’s they ran a ten-day training and development programme for 120 primary teachers many of who have more than 200 children in their classes and only one book for the teacher.

Professor Jacques added: “What struck me is that the teachers and students we met in Malawi are hungry for education. They have very little and few resources but they are enthusiastic and desperate to be educated. The visit was a deeply humbling experience and made all the visitors from UK appreciate how much we have in the west.”

Next month a group of EST Staff members and education students travel to Malawi for the second annual training and development DelPHE visit.

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