Project Malawi

An outreach team from the University of Manchester’s School of Computer Science has returned from a pilot project in Malawi, teaching computing in schools in the north of the country.

It was a great experience all round, for the staff, CS students and schoolteachers on the team, and for the schools, where we met real enthusiasm from the teachers and from the schoolchildren too, who engaged well with the subject despite never having touched a computer, or even a keyboard before! They requested we taught throughout the weekends as well, which we did. The message for next year is “bigger and better”, and planning has already begun.

You may read more in a Report on the Project, 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 the project.

 

Arrival in Malawi

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.

Just Over a Week to Go!

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.

The Project Malawi blog is first-hand experience of staff and student volunteers from the School of Computer Science and CAS Manchester