The main objective for the project is to make Matandani school a DEMO school on how government schools could be, if they were given some direction and resources to tackle their challenges! Together with the local community, we are building the capacity of Matandani to give disadvantaged children a valuable head start in their education.
“The best way to develop a nation is to
enable the youth to change it themselves.”
The Matandani project started in 2012. Andy Monaghan, an Irish primary-school teacher, reached the Domasi region of Malawi after 18 months of travelling and teaching around the world. In Domasi, he volunteered at a community-run collection of rural nursery schools.
In 2013, he went to visit the local government school and he saw Matandani as a school that faced many challenges: huge class-sizes, an uninspiring environment, inconsistent teacher attendance and performance, limited and antiquated resources, and gaps in basic infrastructure (e.g., water, electricity, toilets). As a result, the gains made in the nursery schools were likely to be quickly lost.
But Andy saw promise. Several teachers were also frustrated and keen to make changes.
In conjunction with the school’s management team and community leaders, the four primary ways envisaged to tackle these issues were:
Renovate existing facilities and build new ones.
Introduce new approaches to teaching and administration
Invest in modern IT equipment and a wider range of teaching resources
Assess and improve students’ all-round well-being
This holistic approach is the best way to help Matandani’s students improve their educational opportunities. A lot has been achieved already, but there is still much to be done!