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Think Malawi funding brings desks to pupils at Chibanja Primary School

Updated: Jun 27

Some of the Desks donated at Chibanja Primary School

Pupils at Chibanja Primary School, in Malawi, have expressed gratitude for the donation of 154 desks they received, saying it has transformed their learning environment and addressed a long-standing challenge that had hindered the students' academic performances. 

"[Before the desks] I couldn’t write my tests and National Exams comfortably, I could just rush through to finish the tests on cold floors," said one of the learners, praising the new desks.

Think Malawi donated £3000 to Stimulus for Transformative Development Organization (STRADE) with the aim of eradicating the shortage of desks that was causing discomfort, absenteeism, and poor academic performances at Chibanja Primary School. 

Executive Director for STRADE, Masida Hastings Ziba, hailed the donation, saying that it has reduced absenteeism among pupils especially during winter as they no longer have to sit on cold floors which was unbearable for them. 

He said the lack of desks: "did not only affect their ability to learn but also their performances because of absenteeism"

Temporary wooden classroom at Chibanja Primary School

A teacher at the school praised the support from Think Malawi through STRADE saying it has brought a significant difference at the school, reducing the desk-to-student ratio from 1:25 to 1:7. Moreover, the desks have promoted gender equality by enabling girls to attend classes during their menstrual periods.

According to Masida Hastings Ziba, the project has also resulted in a notable reduction in absenteeism rates among students in standards 7 and 8, decreasing from 52.5% to 26%, and 50% to 18% respectively. He said the school was also expecting an increase in pass rate of over 70% and a selection rate to secondary school exceeding 25%.

The pupils and staff at Chibanja Primary School have said they are grateful for the support, which has made a significant difference to their academic journey. They hope to see a great improvement when the National Exams for 2024 are released.

Masida Hastings Ziba, of STRADE, believes the impact of this funding from Think Malawi has been nothing short of remarkable with pupils now able to attend classes, without worrying about the discomfort and distraction caused by the lack of desks. 

Written by Precious Mtuwa


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