The Bondo Full Primary School has been running since 1971, but conditions have deteriorated over the years. The building is located in Malawi, on the outskirts of Lilongwe. The school is used for almost 800 students, and yet it is missing doors and windows. The walls and floor are not much better and are covered in cracks from the quickly deteriorating plaster. The school toilets are poorly built as well, putting the students at risk for diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery and cholera.
The structure is not able to provide a safe learning environment, as it does not protect students or teachers from the elements or from harmful animals. As the rainy season quickly approaches, locals are nervous that the heavy rain could completely destroy the school. If this were to happen, lessons would have to be postponed, disrupting the flow of education in the area.
When the teachers do not want to work, this affects the overall learning environment. It has been reported that most teachers would rather remain jobless than to have to work in such an institution. One teacher even said due to the harsh living conditions, working at the school felt like punishment for a crime that he did not commit.
One of our local leaders reported their findings as such during a school visit: “My heart sunk because I’d initially thought of it as a chicken coop. It stood there overlooking the school buildings, an unsanitary grass thatched house with poor ventilation and broken doors. It saddened me that this is the level of indecency and poverty that we have tolerated in this country and for such a long time. These students hope for a better life, a better learning environment and a bit of decency.”
Starting in January 2021, construction will begin on a new structure that will be composed of six new classrooms and ten bathrooms. With a better building the institution will be able to accommodate extra students in a healthy learning environment. This is essential in shaping the future of the students, and Coafrica is excited for the work to begin!