Having met Rick and Alison in Heathrow, and Olga in Johannesburg, we took to final leg of our trip to Blantyre yesterday afternoon. After hours and hours of travelling, we began the descent down to the green, green hills of Blantyre.
After quite a minimum of fuss and chaos, we found ourselves installed in a roomy and somewhat faded lodge – House 5 - which feels comfortable and homey. My room is like a small apartment with a really nice desk to sit and type at. We’re still working on internet, but it seems promising.
In the late afternoon, we met our newest team member Gift and Lisbet from DAPP, getting a full briefing on the NGOs work in Malawi. It includes vocational training, agriculture, health and of course education.
It’s certainly a different kind of teacher education, with a lot of responsibility taken by the trainees for how they learn. Spread over 3 years, it includes a year of teaching practice, and a 4 month bus trip when a cohort of trainees manage their own itinerary for a study tour that spans local countries. The claim is this produces highly sought after teachers who are more willing to stay in rural areas and take responsibility for their students’ capacity to learn rather merely memorise for exams. I’m looking forward to meeting them.