An outreach team from the University of Manchester’s School of Computer Science has visited Malawi in central Africa, teaching computing in schools in the north of the country.
It is a great experience all round, for the university staff, for CS students and for the UK schoolteachers in the team. In the Malawian schools, the teachers were very positive and we met real enthusiasm from the schoolchildren, who engaged well with the subject and eventually managed to program in text-based languages, despite never having touched a computer, or even a keyboard before!
A Report on the Project covers both the 2017 visit and the 2018 visit, with insights into some key issues that arose including pedagogic approach, infrastructure, language, gender inequalities, and sustainability and scalability of impact.
Here is a video record of Project Malawi 2017.
Here is a podcast of an interview with two members of the Project Malawi 2018 team, explaining the impact of the project in Malawi and in their lives.
Keep up to date with news and pics coming from Malawi @CAS_Manchester CAS Manchester
The team of two staff and three students and have arrived successfully at Nkhata Bay – the site of their educational work – after 2 days of travel from Manchester. Other members of the team will be travelling to Malawi next weekend.
There’s just over a week until the students, and the first wave of the CAS team depart for Malawi.
Preparations are reaching fever pitch, final injections are being administered, clothes being packed and kit checked so that next Saturday we can set off from the airport with everything in hand.
So far we’ve had really generous donations to enable us to buy kit, from a number of people but especially from the Staff and Students at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary in Southport. The micro:bit Foundation and Lancaster University have donated a number of micro:bits for us to take with us, and Lower Place Primary in Rochdale have donated 6 laptops which they no longer require, for us to use whilst we’re in Malawi.
We’re also collecting various curriculum resources which we’ll be able to use and leave with the schools we’ll be working with in the Nkhata Bay District of Malawi.
So back to my preparations, I’m really excited that in just over a week, we’re due to set off, and I’m looking forward to working with the Ripple Charity, the schools they support, but especially the staff and students at those schools.