“Let children stay in school ”is a three year project,The funding partner is Roger Federer Foundation to the tune of 780,000 euro.The project is aimed at reducing dropout rate for children attending primary school education particularly in the early stages, standard 1 to 2.
The goal of the project, which started in 2011, is to improve lives and wellbeing of Poor & Vulnerable Children through strengthening the capacity of parents and communities surrounding CBCCs that are being supported. The main objective of the “Let children stay in school” project is: improved schools with child-friendly teaching and learning environments. Specifically the project has the following out puts: improved collaboration among key stakeholders in provision of education for children in standards 1 to 3; improved capacity of primary schools to provide Child Friendly Teaching and Learning services; increased nutrition status of children attending early primary school education; and improved quality of teaching and learning environment for children.
The project will build capacity of 600 primary school teachers and reach approximately 50,000 children attending standards 1 to 2 of their primary school education over a period of 3 years. Most importantly, the project is expected to reduce dropout rate for children attending primary school in the designated districts. This will offer equal child right for education of poor and reach families in rural areas of the country. The project will use the special curriculum to be developed in collaboration with Ministry of Gender, Social Welfare and Child Development; Ministry of Education, and other partners for training teachers in lower classes so that they provide child centered and friendly education.
The project will reach :
The specific Objectives are the following:
Main activities :
The DNS teachers ( called Areas leaders) are to build the capacity of the teachers in standard 1 and 2 so that the children will enjoy and benefit from attending school – 600 teachers ( approx. 6 from each school ) over the 3 years.
In each district the DNS teacher is to orient the various district entities :the DEC meeting, the DEM and the PEA – and get their “approval” of the focused effort to improve the quality of the teaching and the entire learning environment in standard 1 and 2.
At local level the DNS teacher also orients and mobilises the Area Development Committee to get involved – as to build “ownership”
The DNS teacher is also to spearhead the discussion and decision on who are to play which role in terms of building sustainability of the effort ( the role of the district, the local leaders, the schools, the PTA, the parents )
Training materials are to be tailor made for teaching/ building the capacity of the in-service teachers in teaching and development of children in standard 1-2. The materials is to be presented to and “agreed to” by MoE and Min of Gender.
120 teachers will in their holiday be attending a 2 month training at near by DNS.
The 2 month program will consist of 1 month of classroom study during which teachers will receive training on ECD and child centered and friendly teaching as it relates to education, development of locally-available age-appropriate playing and learning materials (TALULAR), actively involving children in the learning process, and skills building to prepare the teachers to train and be mentors for other teachers.
Training will also emphasize on how to ensure inclusion of children with various special needs, be respectful of childrens’ needs based on gender, and how to create a space (both the physical environment and the relationships within the school set up) that feels safe for all children.
The 120 in-service teachers will be taught by the project staff and relevant DNS teachers.
Establishment of school feeding for the children in standard 1-3 through mobilising the parents around the school to produce for daily meals – and as a interim solution until this is up running the teachers/parents and DNS teachers are to engage either the MoE school meals program, local or regional whole sellers ( Rabs, Farmers World, ACE or…)WFP or other ways of ensuring a meal.
The DNS teachers is to spearhead the involvement of the communities – from providing support to the children – reading clubs, assistance in sports…. Etc – providing the required materials for the children, pens, notebooks etc for instance through fundraising together….to the maintenance of the schools infrastructure.
The DNS teachers are to spearhead fruitful collaboration between the particular schools and the preschools ( CBCCs) around them – so that the children, the parents, the preschool teachers and the primary school teachers know each other and the children can be well prepared for starting in schools.
Min quarterly meetings between the teams around the preschools and the primary schools are to be organised.
The DNS teachers are to organise introduction of village loans and savings for poor parents as a way of ensuring that the children are provided with the school requirements. Each year each DNS teachers trains 6 groups of parents.
Once a month the project staff will meet for review and planning – one meeting in the North ( Rumphi and Chitipa ) – with the Project Manager – one meeting in the Central Lilongwe / Ntchisi with the co project manager and one meeting in the south for Machinga / Nsanje.
On monthly basis the DNS teacher in each district will report to the district – and orient the district stakeholders once every quarter about the progress and challenges – and share experiences for other preschools to learn from.
The DNS teacher in each district will every quarter organise and invite the in-service teachers in standard 1-2 from the targeted schools for an joint evaluation meeting – for sharing on how challenges are solve, sharing of best practices, for planning