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Who's Who

Education and Recreation
A Day in the Life of Chimteka II Primary School by John Harrison - 2009
Pictures (scroll manually) taken by Annie Bowen Wright while visiting two pre-schools in Chimteka.
Slideshow in Katakunga Slideshow in Chimteka

The Girls' Hostel
The hostel proved very successful after the opening in 2014. These pictures were taken by Annie. They show the kitchen, bunk beds, one of the tables used for dining and study and a table giving gender numbers sitting exams. Headmaster, Clement, showed Annie round; there were so many girls interested that the dining area had been turned into a dormitory. There are now more girls in school than boys. You have to stop somewhere!
Annie reported back that the pump in the water tank had broken and attempts to fix it had failed. Peter was asked to offer help and explained to the headmaster how to read the identifying parameters for the pump and where to buy it. He will now buy a replacement himself. This saves the girls walking some distance for water. It all helps!
Two new classrooms have been built in Chimteka village for children in Forms 5 and 6. The villagers burnt their own red bricks in the kiln and built the structure. CCS funded the roof and remainder, which was distributed and managed by Irene. These are added to the 4 existing classrooms. From here the children will go to Secondary School in Chiosya.
Prior to Annie's 3-week visit to Chimteka in November 2014, 2 reconditioned laptops were bought online from Oxfam for Annie to take with her to Chimteka. They have since beeen much in use by the youth. It was proposed, during Irene's term in Chimteka to train an intern to work under Francis in administration. Also, CCS have considered the training of 2 more librarians. However, as the building of the Maternity Wing has become a reality. it is necessary to channel all funds to this purpose. Much has been achieved already and these extra plans will need to be put on hold.
Scroll Slideshow - Opening of the Girls' Hostel Scroll Slideshow - Letters from the school
The Hostel was opened for girl boarders in September 2014 and is proving very popular and a great success. CCS has received letters from headmaster, teachers and pupils containing great commendations on the quality of the building and for what it means to the girls; Construction details

With the approval of CCS, Irene put into action a plan, very dear to her, to facilitate the training of the local people on Gender Equity.This had two distinct responses, the women present started becoming more vocal, and the men asked for training in gender equity as they said they didn’t understand what it was.
There were 3 Workshops:
Ist workshop, Action Plan - 45 paticipants.
2nd Gender equity - 68 paticipants
The Facilitator was the Director of Women’s Hope for Change (WHFC), a woman’s advocacy group in Mchinji District. This workshop dealt with gender roles and how societal constructed roles restricting the ability of women to fully reach their potential.
3rd Gender Violence - 69 paticipants
Another workshop was requested and organized to deal with Gender Violence and the rights of women under the laws of Malawi. This workshop was facilitated as before along with the Director of the Mchinji office of the National Initiative on Civic Education (NICE).

At Chimteka centre, the playground has been refurbished and in a a more remote village Katakunda, a new playground made and installed by Sakaramento.
Children from Sutton Park Junior School contributed to the cost of these playgrounds with the proceeds from their annual Global Feast held in aid of Chimteka children. The following pieces of equipment were confirmed on site: small slide, big slide, Spinner, up and down, tire run, double swing & hanger and a see-saw.

The Youth Club held it's annual elections to form a committee. They are to have a designated room in the Community Hall for their weekly meetings. CCS has agreed to give €40 per month for an initial 6 months ( to be reviewed ) to the Chimteka Youth Club towards developing leadership skills. We have also purchased 2 sets of sports gear for 2 football teams and 2 net ball teams, 40 singlets. The youth group is a priority target for IT training by Enias Tembo, who was trained by Dan. It is hoped he will act as a point of communication between the youth and CCS, but this would need to be agreed by the Youth Group management.
Provision of computer training to members of the community. Dan has been giving one-to-one training to members of the community in IT, use of documents, internet and email.

Facilitate knitting and sewing groups

Visitors from UNICEF Malawi brought play materials for the CBCC and primary children corner activities, such as: skipping ropes, balls, wooden blocks, game shape board, assorted chalk and paint brushes, mattress and a few blankets for CBCC children, a first Aid Bag and much more.
They told the volunteers and the chiefs that it is now time that the community play a very big role in caring for the needy and marginalised children.


Chimteka is now experiencing high enrolment in all school levels for both sexes, where before a low participation and significant drop-out rate have been observed. One of the reasons being the construction of the the girls' hostel, which began in May 2012, to promote enrolment and retention of girls at Chimteka Secondary School.

  • The hostel will provide accommodation for the poorest and most maginalised students (64 in present plan) living at distances up to 15 km from the school - enabling attendance and providing a safe environment to live and study.
    • Child protection policies have been developed by the government of Malawi. Francis has been on extensive training to become proficient in these policies.
    • The policies and guidelines on admission and fees were developed with the headmaster and parents' committee, with subsequent training of teachers and parents.
    • Refurbishment of both Primary and Secondary schools and connection of electric power to the Primary are also some of the attractions to both our schools.
    • The adult literacy education program, which is now under the Ministry of Education, is also under way in Chimteka with a good number registering, more especially women.
    Students were taken on career visits to:
    • Mchinji District hospital, visiting the radiography dept,laboratory, pharmacy and wards etc.
    • Mchinji Police station.

    Meetings were held with the School Management Committee, PTA, Chiefs and teachers of Chimteka II regarding education to examine:

    • Why children do not attend CBCC/Primary school.
    • Why parents should send children to school.
    Interesting responses led to development of strategies get more children to attend school, but also to encourage adults to make use of the adult education programs.
    A presentation event was held where all the children who had done well in the examinations received an exercise book and pen with the best girl and boy in the class receiving a metal pencil case. A number of parents of children attended and were very proud of their children’s achievements.

    It was decided to name the new Youth club the Dineen Chimteka Trust Youth Club, after the founder of DSS, Phil Dineen and in appreciation of the work and fundraising done by the trust for Chimteka and the girls hostel.

    The treasurer of CCS, Paul McDonald, visited Chimteka and all the schools in the area.

    Francis addresses a conference about Early Childhood Development (ECD) being attended by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health.

    A Youth club has been formed to look at ways to engage the youth from the local villages who have limited education and a lack of opportunities with a local “youth leader”.

    A number of issues need to be addressed; increased use of the library, school feeding program and absenteeism amongst staff. The trickiest issue is the absenteeism amongst staff as this is a problem faced by all schools in Malawi and all civil servants. Government teachers are paid very poorly and sometimes go for months without receiving any pay at all.
    A very large number of children are coming to the hall for Children’s Corner Activities, and it would appear to be successful in getting the children to interact and spend time productively.
    We started to run a pilot “Children’s Corner” in the Community Hall; aiming to get children of all ages (particularly orphans and vulnerable) to conduct activities (playing games, drawing and writing memory books) in a structured but sociable environment.
    A welder from Chimteka Trading Centre was required to conduct maintenance on the playground at Chimteka Centre; happily due to the fact that it has been used so much.
    •The Peace Corp have asked for an assessment of Chimteka Secondary School with a view to placing an Education Volunteer in the future.
    •The training of a Librarian for 5 days has begun. Shadrick was chosen due to his reliability and dedication plus good English Language abilities. Irene donated us a very useful book published by Peace Corps about setting up a small library. We pay an annual subscription of 500 Mkw and the National Library based in Lilongwe will supply us with books on a 6 monthly basis starting with 100 and gradually increasing.
    John assisted Francis prepare the standard 8 mock exam for the whole education zone.
    A further classrooms in the secondary school have been re-furbished.
    An extra lady teacher has been given to Chimteka II Junior Primary

    2009 and earlier
    Many of the classrooms in all schools are either new or re-furbished.
    The Chimteka Pre-School
    Chimteka Community Based Child Care (funded by UNICEF) and Katakungwa CBCC (funded by CCS) provide Child care to young children and also Chimteka CBCC provides supplementary feeding. They are run entirely on a voluntary basis by "care givers".
    The children are from 2 - 6 years of age and attend from 07.30 to 11 am five days a week.

    The Chimteka II Junior Primary School
    The official starting age for primary school in Malawi is six, and the primary stage lasts for eight years. The Junior primary takes some of the younger children (around 6-8 years) who find it too far to walk to the Full Primary. There are 4 classrooms which were opened in January 2010 and the school was built by the schools charity "Eleven to 1" in Scotland. CCS has built houses for the 4 teachers, which encouraged the government to provide the teachers. The introduction of “free education” in Malawi in 1994 led to a considerable improvement in enrolment at primary and secondary levels. Nevertheless, at the primary stage, poor children are still less likely to attend school than non-poor children.

    The Chimteka Full (Senior) Primary School
    This is situated 3.5 km from the centre of Chimteka and has 1,370 pupils with 783 boys and 587 girls. There are 13 teachers in the school, 3 of which are female. The school has 10 classrooms. and 8 classes (standards). It is a big school with very large classes and a high pupil:teacher ratio. CCS has started a program of renovating,painting/making mortor floor repairs, which is having a positive impact on the learning environment. CCS also plans to introduce more desks or benches (around 220) into the classrooms. There is a great need for a girls' hostel as some have large distances to travel. Also a school feeding program is a high priority
    Renovated classrooms

    The Chimteka Community Day Secondary School (CDSS)
    This is located 100 metres from the Full Primary School and consists of Forms 1-4.There are 166 Boys and 109 girls with 9 teachers, thus a good pupil:teacher ratio. It is run by the government and is well kept with mains electricity. There is also great need for a girls' hostel here. One building would serve both schools. The other problem is school fees which stops the poorer child attending.
    The official starting age for secondary schools in Malawi is 14 and the secondary level lasts for four years. The government is now the dominant provider of education in secondary schools, providing education to 65 percent of all the pupils attending secondary education. However, Very few children from poor households attend secondary schools, particularly in rural areas.

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