'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world' is a favourite quote of mine and is a real personal belief. With the passing of Nelson Mandela, and spending time with our school entrepreneurs in Malawi this quote has become even more poignant. It makes me very proud to run an organisation that has this ethos at the heart of what it does, just one phone call at a time.
Primary school education became free in 1994 in Malawi, so prior to my visit I was not clear on the market opportunity in private schools. Talking with our school entrepreneurs, I became aware that the issue was around quality of education and future employment opportunities. A shortage of qualified teachers, class sizes which in certain areas can be over 100 and limited geographical reach has created a market for private schools here. Local primary education is completed in the local Malawian language of Chewa, with English being taught as a secondary language. Parents seeking better employment prospects for their children prefer subjects to be taught in English. another reason driving the private school market.
|Payla, Sophie Kumwanje, Claire Jenkins|
Payla is a Grow Movement client, who had a British consultant called Ben. Together they worked on advertising Palma springs Private School school after it moved to a new rural area far from a local road. Payla was encouraged to go on TV, put posters around the local area, offer free classes to local students and send children home with information on the school to share with friends. Transport was the next issue. With no funding for a bus to pick the children up, and a 30 minute walk from the local road, Ben suggested talking to local bus companies to offer the service at a reduced price. Being situated near 2 rivers was a problem for local parents, so 2 play ground supervisors were employed. Local micro businesses have also sprung up in the area including doughnut and Samoa sellers to the children at lunch time In total, 9 new jobs were created from the consultancy work carried out by Grow Movement.
World change starts with educated children, it also starts with empowered entrepreneurs with the right tool kit to run their businesses. Grow Movement helps to do this...one phone call at a time.
Claire Jenkins CEO Grow Movement