Hardwork pays off
Mafosha Primary School in Chinkhwiri zone, Traditional Authority Chakhadza in Dowa district has for over 10 years underperformed in the Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations (PSLCE). It wasn’t until the 2016/17 academic results when the school recorded a 100 pass rate during the PSLCE.
During the 2016/7 academic year all the 31 pupils who sat for the PSLCE passed representing a 100 percent pass rate and in the 2017/8 calendar the Standard 8 enrolment at school doubled to 68 who sat for the exams and all passed with 44 learners selected to national, conventional and community day secondary schools.
The headteacher for the school Clement Tendai Sam attributes the success to the hardworking spirit and dedication that teachers at the school are demonstrating. He also recognises the relationship that has been built between the school and the community which is he said is encouraging parents to be more involved in their children’s education.
“This year we have 83 learners who are expected to write the PSLCE and this is all because of the good records at the school. We are not only performing well in the MANEB (Malawi Nation Examinations Board) but we also came first in the Standard 8 mock examinations with most of the best performing students coming from Mafosha school,” explained Sam.
He added that some of the parents are coming from as far as Lilongwe, Kasungu and Madisi to learn at Mafosha which is leading to self-boarding for some of the learners.
The Chairperson for the School Committee Linda Paulo echoed the headteacher’s remarks that there is a good relationship between the community and the school which is in turn contributing to the performance at the school as the community has become supportive of education.
She added that the teachers are dedicated and willing to work during odd hours to achieve their goals giving an example of the Standard 8 class teacher who offers free remedial lessons to his class, and stays around for the learners to study at night and in the early morning hours.
Stanley Kachidowo is the Standard 8 class teacher at Mafosha. He joined the school in September 2016. He was trained at DAPP Dowa Teachers Training College as a primary school teacher in rural Malawi.
He is a member of a DAPP Malawi graduated teachers network that stick together to share ideas and knowledge on how they can improve the environments around their schools known as 400 Primary Schools. The aim of the 400 Primary schools program is for the DAPP graduated teachers to reach out to 400 schools in Malawi.
The 400 Primary schools meet regularly to plan and evaluate their work, share ideas and experiences and to produce teaching and learning materials which include TALULAR (Teaching and Learning Using Locally Available Resources) and supplementary reading materials known as Spines.
Mafosha Primary School has a TALULAR committee according to the head teacher which is chaired by Kachidowo. Through the use of TALULAR at the school, the learners easily grasp the concepts when teaching and it allows for continued learning when the teacher is not around.
However, kachidowo complains that he is the only teacher in Standard 8 which is due to insufficient number of teachers at the school. He teaches all the 9 subjects and promises to continue working hard.
Mafosha primary school has 13 teachers, 3 females and 10 males with an enrolment of 626 learners, 331 girls and 295 boys.