Malawi communities embrace homeschooling amid COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic continues to restrict the reopening of schools in Malawi and many primary school teachers are exploring better ways of keeping “school-going children” up to date and academically fresh through small group homeschooling education.
According to Augustine Gondwe, a professional secondary school teacher in Blantyre, for the past two months, he has been teaching children in his neighbourhood at a small cost to caution children who can not afford to access online lessons.
Gondwe is among many school teachers in Blantyre who are doing group homeschooling for young children.
“Parents have been coming to me complaining that their children are becoming more playful and that they fear that this can make their children becoming dumb.”
“We offered ourselves to do part-time lessons in various homes around the community whilst observing COVID-19 preventive measures,” said Gondwe.
“To keep up, I follow educational radio programs that are being broadcast on national radio station during weekdays. This helps me share relevant lessons with my small group of students.”
“As of now, there is a significant progress in terms of productivity. In about two months, a number of small children are now able to read and write. I believe that by the end of this long holiday, many children in my community will be able to solve simple mathematical problems,” said Gondwe.
Despite fears of COVID-19, some parents are willing to send their children to these part-time lesson classes.
Martha Kamowa, a hairdresser in Blantyre city, is very optimistic that this initiative will help build a strong academic reasoning for her 6-year-old daughter.
“COVID-19 has changed our usual way of conducting regular practices, but I believe that with better tactics together we can achieve great things.”
“We don’t know when the doors of classrooms will be opened again, but whilst we are waiting for that to happen, we should not take any chances by letting our children be so relaxed with other things in our homes,” said Kamowa.
In May, the government of Malawi through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology formed a task force to explore the chances of reopening schools. However, schools have remained closed.