Fieldnote Friday - Malawi

Amalika Teacher Training College was established in Thyolo District, Malawi during 2007 with funding from a partnership between Planet Aid and the United States Department of Agriculture. The school, operated by Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Malawi, works to train qualified and compassionate primary school teachers for rural areas of Malawi.

Kitex Mukhaya (34) from Thyolo, student 2008-2010 at Amalika Teacher Training College (TTC)

"At secondary school, I was deeply impressed by the way our teachers were teaching us. Especially our headmaster Mr. Akabo inspired me personally with a lot of advice.I believe that teachers are the most important element of every society, as they make the life of people easier by impacting them with knowledge. So I myself decided to become a teacher.

In the rural areas of Malawi, the number of teachers doesn't fit at all to the children's needs. A lot of colleagues prefer to live in comfortable urban surroundings, but I look forward to assist exactly those rural communities and to help develop our nation by doing so.

In my family, we are 5 brothers and 3 sisters, of which 5 including me have chosen the teaching profession. By this, we can also contribute to the progress and well-being of our family and home area because we have an over-average education and a stable income. But the salary for teachers, which is around 17,000 MWK on average per month (~110$), is hardly enough to make a good living for everybody in the family, so it is good to also establish a small enterprise. My idea for the future is to set up community clubs in my school area, above all those dealing with health education. As a Red Cross member, I could already gather some knowledge in this area before I joined the teacher training.

Before coming to Amalika, I worked as a dispatching clerk in a tea estate for several years. One day my uncle, a priest, showed me the advertisement of the new DAPP TTC and reminded me of my long-term wish to become a teacher - I applied immediately and luckily was accepted. I understood that DAPP offers us the opportunity to develop our whole personality and broaden our horizon, for example for better agriculture, computers, communication with people, making budgets and many other areas. I like the approach of working in micro-groups of 4 people, because we are obliged to think commonly how we can progress best. As a member of our football team and being responsible for the computers, I can also follow my hobbies together with my friends.

Whatever I'm learning here, I'll do my best to share it with the community for the sake of the young ones I'm going to teach. I will never leave the rural area for the luxury of a city life, and I hope that in future many village headmen and religious leaders will encourage parents to give their children a chance to develop by sending them to school…"