Fawema equips pupils with Sexual reproductive health rights skills

Forum for African Women Educationists in Malawi (Fawema) has intensified its drive in improving quality of basic education in the country through provision of life skills to pupils and commissioning of modern computer laboratories in primary schools.

Over the weekend, Fawema engaged pupils from primary schools in Lilongwe rural east in Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) life skills trainings just days after inaugurating computer labs under Connect for Change (C4C) Project, which focuses on ICT to improve quality in the provision of basic education.

The trained pupils are part of the 350 targeted learners from Kalumbu, Mchuchu and Mwatibu primary schools under the Star School Project. The organization also trains teachers, patrons, matrons, and head teachers.

Discussing Sexual Reproductive Health rights

Discussing Sexual Reproductive Health rights

School girls using compoter courtesy of Fawema

School girls using compoter courtesy of Fawema

According to Fawema Projects Officer, Wales Chigwenembe the trainings would help learners make right and informed decisions in regards to sexual reproductive health rights and, manage their sexual maturation.

“The trainings are being done to unpack SRHR and its relevance to young people. We realized that effective engagement of young people in addressing SRHR issues enables them appreciate their role in their communities as change agents. We are expecting such trainings to have impact on teenage pregnancies and school drop outs,” said Chigwenembe.

Chigwenembe said selection of the targets was being done in two folds; firstly, the Tilankhule clubs that will be or have already been established in the impact schools and secondly learners selected by their fellow pupils.

Some of the topic during the trainings include introduction to adolescents SRHR, SRHR issues and young people, SRH problems affecting young people in Malawi (especially Abortion, STIs and HIV/AIDS) and Understanding Human growth and Development.

“The trainings also focus on menstruation and teenage pregnancies, which has been one of the contributing factors to safe girls’ school dropout. We also tackle issues of safer sex practices, family planning, gender and vulnerability of girls in Malawi well as the need for learners to understand sexual and reproductive health rights,” he added.

Connect For Change

Meanwhile, Fawema in partnership with the Association of Christian Educators in Malawi (ACEM) and Emmanuel Teachers Training College (ETTC) has inaugurated two computer laboratories at Mtenthera and Ching’ombe primary schools as part of its Connect for Change project.

The goal of the project is to have an improved parental and community support and involvement in the teaching and learning process in selected primary schools and teacher training colleges by using ICT.

ACEM Project Officer, Martin Mbendera said would ensure communication between teachers, parents and community structures like Mother Groups (MGs) in targeted schools is enhanced.

“There are six primary schools targeted. Through the project management of data primary schools and Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) using computers will improve but also sharing of knowledge between TTCs and primary schools will be strengthened,” explained Mbendera.

He added: “We want to see a change in learners’ access to quality basic education with special focus on girls through the use of ICT (cell phones, computers and community radio) in primary schools and TTCs by 2015”.

Basically, the project is being implemented as a pilot in Lilongwe rural east in four schools namely, Nkhoma, Mtenthera, Mwatibu and Chingómbe. Its success will decide extension to other regions the northern and southern regions.

STAR School Project is funded by Edukans Foundation form Netherlands through Education Expertise Development Foundation (EEDF) while Connect for Change (C4C) is being implemented with Funding and technical assistance from Institute for International Communication (IICD) through Edukans Foundation.

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