Temwa Chilenga is a teacher at Chambu Primary school in Dzedza education zone in Lilongwe rural district who was trained at DAPP Dowa Teacher Training College in Dowa district.
She joined the teaching profession in 2015. Since taking her career path she has been actively involved not only in teaching but in community engagements while targeting school going children.
“I am a teacher at Chambu school and during my teaching career, I identified 53 learners from and around Ndodani village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chitukula who dropped out from school due to lack or learning resources and money to pay as school development funds contributions” said Temwa.
Following the closure of schools by the Malawi government due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Temwa took an initiative to follow up on the learners she helped return and remain in school.
“I took it to myself that I need to keep these learners busy while they stayed home. Usually they go around in the township collecting plastic bottles or whatever they can lay their hands on to resale and make money,” she explained.
In order to keep the learners busy, Temwa decided to engage them in school work through delivering lessons to the learners three times in a week, then using the other two days for assessment and marking their work.
“What I have been doing is preparing lessons and tasks which I go around pasting in walls around the village for the learners to come and copy the work then I collect their work the following days to mark. I have seen this to be effective and eventually more children from the area started showing interest to join the sessions. You would notice there are five of us supporting these children now, two of them are my sisters who are in secondary school while the two others are my fellow teachers from the school,” she added.
Temwa started her initiative for the 53 learners which she took under her care. Fast forward with other learners showing interest in the learning exercise, there are over 170 children that have been coming to joinr the lessons.
“I never expected that there would be so many children flocking to this place for the lessons, that is why I asked my fellow teachers and my sisters to come in and lend a hand. So basically what we are now doing is to have short learning sessions under the trees for shelter” she said.
Temwa and her colleagues prepare lessons which are presented on flipchart papers and pasted around the village for the learners.
She says it is her desire to keep the children busy while schools have closed other than idling.