My teacher once told me while in secondary school that I have to be resourceful if I am to excel in my education. He gave me some tips among which was to be a friend of books. He was so courageous to tell me to like reading because the school had different books that one would utilize.
While most of the students in developed world would use Google to find any information they need and get the most recent information, a teacher and a student in Kasungu would rely on books that take time to be edited for their knowledge to be kept up to date. They don’t care about internet and computers – to them reference materials are enough for their success.
Driven by the fact that the greatest chance for improvement is self improvement, most teachers would not hold their words upon receiving the new reference materials. Mrs Mercy Mngongonda a mother of two and a deputy head teacher for Nyemba Primary school explains; “you refer to a dictionary when you come across a difficult word because all we want is quality education for our students and ourselves. The English Grammar text books help to improve the English of both the students and the teachers.”
Mercy has been teaching at Nyemba Primary school since 2009 and believes that reference materials serve a greater purpose in schools where there are few teachers around, with Nyemba being one of them.
Mrs Atupele Panja is another teacher who feels teaching is not simple without reference materials, as most students these days want to know more and use the reference materials to discover for themselves. While having the skill needed to teach, teaching largely depends on the information available to oneself. Reference materials help to raise student interest and reinforce memory retention because they provide connections between facts and real-world applications of those facts.
At Join My Village, we understand that education can reach us all regardless of our location; be it in the rural areas or towns. And it is for this reason among others that we have provided reference materials to more than 19 primary schools in sub-districts of Lukwa and Santhe in Kasungu district. This does not only increase the enrollment number of students in these primary schools but also increases the passing rates that see more girls graduating into secondary schools. For instance one of our primary schools, Lingadzi primary school registered 369 girls against 323 boys in 2010 and by year 2011 the school registered 390 girls against 382 boys which gives hope that now education can be accessed by us all.