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CRECCOM BOARD OF TRUSTEES PAY KACHERE PRIMARY SCHOOL A VISIT

  • CRECCOM BOARD OF TRUSTEES PAY KACHERE PRIMARY SCHOOL A VISIT
  • CRECCOM BOARD OF TRUSTEES PAY KACHERE PRIMARY SCHOOL A VISIT
  • CRECCOM BOARD OF TRUSTEES PAY KACHERE PRIMARY SCHOOL A VISIT
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26th July 2018

Girl Empowerment through Education and Health (ASPIRE) is one of the projects that CRECCOM is implementing. The goal of ASPIRE is to increase the educational attainment of girls in primary and secondary schools in Balaka, Machinga and Zomba districts in Malawi

CRECCOM's board of trustees visited Kachere primary school in Machinga to bear witness of what the school and community have done since the introduction of ASPIRE at the school. During the visit to the school, the board was briefed on how the situation was before the project, interventions by ASPIRE and finally the outcomes of those interventions. The board was briefed that before ASPIRE, situation at Kachere school was as follows:

  • Enrolment was 783 learners (439 boys and 344 girls) in 2014.
  • Four permanent classroom block and two teachers' houses.
  • Low school attendance for the girls and in upper classes less than ten girls were registered each year.
  • No girl had never been selected to any secondary school since its establishment.
  • High rate of dropout of girls despite prior interventions by other organization in encouraging girls to remain in schools.
  • Deep embracement of harmful cultural practices which negatively influenced girls and women.
  • Rampant early marriages in the surrounding villages.

Kachere school stakeholders that included teaching staff, chiefs, initiation councillors, mother group members explained that ASPIRE conducted community based trainings for all key stakeholder groups. At the end of the trainings, the stakeholder groups developed work plans which they have been using to date. The jovial stakeholders explained that Kachere school has completely transformed as evidenced by below outcomes.

  • Cultural issues which were otherwise secretive and very sensitive are openly being discussed. For example; Kusasa fumbi. There is a positive change that many women have stopped encouraging girls to perform sexual cleansing.
  • Through sensitization activities and training the community and its leaders has resulted in gaining a good understanding of their responsibilities to the school. They have been able to solve issues which affect them using their own resources.
  • The bylaws which were formulated have minimized early marriages and 15 girls were re enrolled back to school.
  • For the first time some girls are selected to Mbenjere Secondary School.
  • The enrolment at school has increased by 13% from 783 (439 boys 344girls) in 2014 to 906(475boys 431 girls).
  • The communities have also engaged duty bears to address issues affecting them i.e. lack of lady teachers at the school. Fortunately, the district education office had sent a female teacher to the school this year.

Kuninga Issa is a teen mother. She had her child when she was 16 years of age and in standard 6. She dropped out of school to take care of her baby. Later on the mother group intervened and encouraged her to return to school. She is in standard 8 now and aspires to be a teacher in the future. Mary Matola is the only girl that has ever passed and got selected to a secondary school since the school was established in 1959. In the past, her performance was not that good but she was motivated by the project to work hard so she can achieve her goal and consequently she got selected to secondary school in 2017.

Esnart Bamusi is a friend of Mary and they both sat for the PSLCE in 2017 but she failed. Due to the motivation by her friend, she did not give up but proceeded to repeat standard 8 and wrote again national exams this year and is fully confident that she will be selected to secondary School. The village stakeholders thanked the project for reaching out to their community and gave them the skills to help shape a brighter future for girls. The Board of trustees were impressed with the project results. The Chairperson for CRECCOM's Board of Trustees, Dr Foster Kholowa, said that the board was very pleased with the outcomes of the project interventions. He encouraged the school stakeholders to continue working and sustain the project activities.