Back to School Community Initiative Project
Chikosa Ngwira & Brighton Chunga
The challenge that the project addresses:
Back to School Community Initiative Project (BSCIP) seeks to improve the educational opportunities available to the children of Luwuchi primary school in Rumphi, Malawi. Challenges currently facing the schoolchildren include:Dilapidated infrastructure and inadequate learning materials for pupils at Luwuchi primary school.Poor motivation amongst pupils leading to poor performance.High school dropout rates for both boys and girls, and many girls failing to complete even primary education.Inadequate commitment of some parents to support their children to attain education.
What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?:
- BSCIP was formed in 2015 by four alumni of Luwuchi Primary school, including Canon Collins alumnus Chikosa Ngwira and Canon Collins scholar, Brighton Chunga. Following consultation meetings and situational analysis with all key stakeholders, the alumni initiated a project to inspire children and promote education at Luwuchi Primary School.
- The project runs an annual performance award targeting the top ten pupils in each class between Standards 1-8. These pupils are awarded learning materials procured by the financial contributions of the four former pupils.
- Awards are also granted to the three best teachers from each section of the school (infant, junior and senior).
- Motivational talks are arranged to take place during the annual awards ceremonies, attended by all pupils, teachers, local leaders and parents.
- Most recently, the project has embarked on supporting infrastructural improvements of the school, including the electrification of teachers’ houses and the construction of a staff room.
Describe the project's impact:
- Since the awards programme was initiated, we have noted a remarkable improvement in performance and competition amongst pupils in all classes.
- Female students are now dominating the top three positions in most classes.
- The school dropout rate has reduced by 25% since the project’s inception.
- We have noted an improved level of commitment, competition and performance amongst current teachers.
- An increased number of parents are showing interest and commitment towards supporting their children to attain education. In 2017 more than 70 parents and 8 local leaders attended the annual awards ceremony, compared to 25 parents that attended the previous annual event. Prior to the initiation of BSCIP, no parents attended closure of the academic year or end of term results.
- The Community has chipped in to provide bricks for the construction of a new school staff room, indicating improved commitment and community participation in improving school infrastructure.