About 19 new United States Peace Corps were, on Thursday sworn in after undergoing 11-weeks of community based training at Chinkhombwe Village in Kasungu district.
The volunteers will be assigned to various Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS) throught Malawi where they will work alongside their local counteparts to teach English, Mathematics, Physics and Science to strengthen academic performance and student leadership skills.
Speaking at the function Chinkhombwe ground US Ambassador to Malawi Jeanine Jackson said during the past 50 years, volunteer have taught and worked with thousands of citizens who are contributing to the country’s development.
“The Peace Corps have a unique role to play here and a remarkable opportunity to become part of their communities. These volunteers live with the people with whom they work, speak the languages of those around them and this pre-service training they have completed, in particular living with host families in these villages has prepared them to do just that,” she said.
She urged the volunteers to work hand in hand with other members of their communities to improve the lives of all as its impact is directly from person to person.
“You will soon move to your new communities across Malawi President Barrack Obama’s goal that of investing in the next generation of
Africans. You will be teaching and mentoring the next generation of Malawians, building the capacity of your fellow teachers, providing
leadership and setting examples,” she said.
Kasungu West Member of Parliament (MP) Alex Meja said the coming in of the volunteers in the rural areas will help improve the quality of education.
“People in the rural areas in the country are denied quality education through lack of teaching materials, infrastructure and shortage of
staff. The work of the Peace Corps in this set up is very important, not only to the people of Kasungu but also to the wider Malawian
population as it would contribute to the development of the country,” he said.
However, although the volunteers are trained in the area, Meja observed that none of them will be deployed in the constituency.
“Despite having a large number of children completing primary education, the constituency does not have a secondary school forcing
student to walk long distances to access secondary education a development that contributes to a lot of girls ending up
dropping out of school.
“In an ideal situation, some of these volunteers should have stayed within the constituency so that our children benefit from their
expertise but due to lack of a secondary school, this will not happen.” said Meja adding that despite of all this, the constituents
are happy to be among those who have introduced the volunteers to Malawian culture.
Education volunteers are also involved in building the capacity and skills of teachers, assist schools in establishing, maintaining and
upgrading libraries and science labs and provide key technical support to educational clusters among others.