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Radio Program Sparks Construction of Two New Classrooms in Malawi



By Annabelle Caraway

(June 18, 2024) Walking to school and promptly entering an air-conditioned building is normal for many school kids. However, something as simple as having a classroom to walk into was a problem for some students in Zomba, Malawi. 


There was not enough classroom space for students at Thundu Primary School.


“When there are not enough classrooms, learners face challenges like have to learn outside on bare ground where classes can be disrupted when it’s raining, and sometimes during summer when it is too hot for them to be on the bare ground,” said Alick Juma, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) executive member at Thundu Primary School.

 

Between December 2023 and January 2024, Chanco Radio, a DRP partner, in Zomba, Malawi, aired programs featuring students from the school and community members talking about the lack of classroom space and the impact it was having on students and their education.

 

Along with having to learn outside in unpredictable weather, the students were also learning in shifts.“We could learn for a few hours only so that we could give space to our classmates. The time was not enough for us to cover all lessons compared to the normal learning hours,” said Promise Noris, a seventh grade student at Thundu Primary School.


Classes would usually be in three-hour increments. The first block would run from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the second would be 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. In comparison, a standard school day should be 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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