Projects in Malawi - 2008

International education and teachers training projects in Malawi in 2008.

Malawi Physics Education Workshop 2008

In November 2008, Eileen Nugent volunteered with an organisation in Malawi called Ripple Africa. They are a Charity that has been running for five years and that is involved in education, healthcare, and environmental projects in Malawi. The charity is entirely sustained by the fundraising efforts of Liz and Geoff Furber from Buckinghamshire, UK. In 2005 two volunteers Amy Cherry and Paul Watton ran teaching workshops in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Ripple Africa is looking for someone to carry on this work and I have agreed to organise and run similar workshops in Physics and Mathematics.

The project

Teachers workshops
Most secondary school teachers in Malawi have no education beyond secondary school. Changes in the physics syllabus mean that they now teach material that they have never covered. The aim of the workshop is to clarify any concepts the teachers haven’t fully understood by going through the syllabus (in particular the new material on the physics syllabus) and to give the teachers an opportunity to ask questions.

It will be run for teachers from 5-6 secondary schools based in Mwaya, Malawi. The previous organisers of the workshops, Amy and Paul, now live in Oxford and their input has been invaluable both in terms of giving me some insight into the state of the education system in Malawi and assisting me in preparing a course that fits the needs of the local teachers and avoids the pitfalls they encountered.

Science Kits
We are putting together science kits here (magnetism, strings and pulleys, optics bench, solar panels and a build your own radio kit) that can be brought to schools in Malawi and used by teachers to reinforce material from the text books. For this I have enlisted the help of fellow physicist Kristin Lohwasser.