Here at Join My Village we believe education is key to a better future. Not only do our scholarships increase education opportunities for girls but other activities also aim to improve the quality of education. One of these ways is providing reference materials to primary schools.
Join My Village has so far distributed 3 Oxford dictionaries, 6 English grammar books, 4 Common Mistakes in English text books, 2 board rulers, 2 world maps, 1 atlas, 1 Chichewa/Chinyanja/ English dictionary and 2 student companions since its inception in 2009 to all of the 15 targeted primary schools in Kasungu district.
This assistance to primary schools through the Join My Village project has helped a lot. With the provision of reference materials, enrollment in the benefiting primary schools has increased. Pass rates have also increased, which some Head Teachers suggest is due to more pupils using the reference materials. For instance Lingadzi primary school sent 7 girls to secondary school in 2009 but this increased to 12 girls in 2010 which is a great achievement.
Grade 8 students at Lingadzi told me recently ‘We had no reference materials at first, but now we are able to improve our grammar in English and use world maps. Reference materials are our second teacher!’’.
Elesiya Msowoya is one of the female teachers at Lingadzi primary school who emphasizes to me about how reference materials have improved her teaching capacity. She says that being a teacher does not mean you know everything and so these reference materials help when making lesson plans.
Maria, a grade 8 pupil, talks the importance of reference materials.