Keeping Girls in School: TESSA and FAWEMA continue their collaborative work in Malawi

By Joyce Chitsulo

TESSA in collaboration with FAWEMA (Forum for African Women Educationalists in Malawi) is embarking on a new project in Malawi – part of a major programme called ‘Keeping Girls in School’ funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID). The project aims to help keep girls in school by recruiting more women from rural communities to work in schools and to gain entrance qualifications for primary school teaching. The KGIS Scholarship will last two years and women will be attached to a primary school for the two years as well as studying for the Malawi Secondary Certificate of Education (MSCE) qualification required to apply for teacher training college.

During the two years of School Experience, the women (Scholars) will work alongside a primary class teacher and act as a role model supporting girls in schools. In the first year the Scholars will be based in a Standard 1 or 2 classes working with the teacher and the learners and get- ting familiar with the role of adults supporting learning in schools. In the second year, the Scholars will be in a Standard 7 or 8 classes and their role will also include acting as a role model to girls in the school and supporting girls in the higher classes in primary education to stay in school. During the first year the Scholars will also study a structured upgrading course leading to the MSCE qualifications.

Another innovative aspect of the KGIS programme is the materials and resources it will develop to support the continuous professional development of the experienced primary and secondary teachers who will act as mentors and tutors respectively in the programme. Alongside these, the KGIS programme will also provide training opportunities and resources for Malawian teacher educators to work as facilitators on the induction and training workshops and seminars required for the sustainability of the project in years to come.

From 2013 to 2016 the KGIS programme will offer 2000 scholarships. 300 women will embark on the programme in April 2013 in the districts of Salima and Nsanje. A further 700 women will start in September 2013, and the final 1000 will be recruited for September 2014 in the districts of Machinga, Zomba, and Nkhata Bay.

Head of DfID Malawi, Sarah Sanyahumbi (pictured centre) visited the KGIS Scholars Induction workshop in the Salima district in April.Head of DfID Malawi, Sarah Sanyahumbi (pictured center) visited the KGIS Scholars Induction workshop in the Salima district in April.