Continued Learning in Times of the Pandemic
The World Health Organisation declared the Coronavirus a pandemic in March 2020 following an outbreak that started in China and spread in other countries across the world.
Following this declaration, the government of Malawi through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ordered the closure of all schools in Malawi until further notice.
DAPP Malawi education programs were among institutions and implementations affected by the development.
However, learning doesn’t stop in some of the projects. DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational school offers technical and entrepreneurial trainings to Malawian youth. In a quest to ensure continued learning, one of the courses, Cobbler and Shoe making, has adapted to using social media platforms like WhatsApp to deliver lessons to students while they are home.
A class of over 50 students from four cohorts have organised themselves in an online group where their instructor delivers lessons and assignments.
According to one of the Instructors Mr Daniel Mkama, two lessons are being delivered weekly and students will put into practice what has been taught.
“The class comprises of students that were enrolled in different cohorts while some are behind in their lessons and others are at an advanced stage but what we are delivering to them is what they can manage to do while home. Some of the students received start up tools so they will be able to work since the also operate in trios (a group of three),” explained Mkama.
In one of the lessons, the Instructor share with the students on how they can produce stitching patterns on leather shoes that can last up to three years.
“These stitches will strengthen the weaknesses that arise between the adhesive that arises between the adhesive that is used when joining the lining and the outer material. This means the inside and outer materials are joined to strengthen the whole shoe,” read part of the lesson.
The students enrolled in Shoe Making work in trios for continues sharing of ideas and experiences. In the groups of three, they receive start up tools upon completion of their training to start up small scale businesses.
The Cobbler and Shoe Making courses is being run with funding assistance from Sympany of Netherlands.
DAPP Mikolongwe Vocational school has to date trained over 10,900 youth since its establishment in 1997.