Education for Life

 

In Madagascar children dream of the chance to get an education but for most, the obstacles are too great. Remote rural schools lack everything from classrooms, water and toilets to teachers and books. Children are often too hungry or sick to study and parents can barely afford the fees.

MfM aims to bring hope and prosperity to Madagascar’s forgotten children through an integrated programme for rural primary schools. Education for Life (Ed4life) works with communities to provide: new classrooms, clean water and toilets, books, teacher training, environmental education, kitchen gardens, school canteens, solar power, adult literacy and income generating opportunities for parents.

Why Education for Life?

Over 30 years of working with grass-roots organisations has convinced MfM that access to a decent education is vital if Madagascar is to make the journey from poverty to prosperity.  Decades of under-investment exacerbated by recent political instability have left the nation unable to provide even basic education.  With households becoming poorer (80% of the population live on less than $1/day) and spending an increasing proportion of their income on food, enrolment has significantly decreased, falling as low as 55% in some areas.  Of every 100 who start primary school only 33 make it to secondary school.

Research shows that even with infrastructure in place, five major obstacles are blocking Malagasy students from succeeding at school:

    • Absence from school due to illness;

    • Inability to pay school fees;

    • Poor teaching from under-skilled and under-motivated teachers

    • Lack of teaching materials and resources;

    • Hunger and consequent inability to concentrate or learn.

 

Who does Ed4life help?

Ed4life helps children in remote rural communities to access a life changing education.

Each year, in partnership with the Adsum Foundation, we aim to start a new intake of 10 schools.  Each Phase of the MfM ‘Education for Life ‘ programme supports on average:

15,000 children

240 teachers

5,000 parents

10 schools

MfM usually has at least 30 schools receiving intensive support at any one time, with on-going support and learning continuing with at least 50 Education for Life Schools, who have graduated from our intensive training programme, but who continue to take part in the MfM Education for Life Community.

The schools are mostly clustered in the Regions of Itasy, Miarinarivo and Analamanga, with a few additional schools supported in the East, West and South.  Some of our school locations can be seen on the website map.

 

How does Ed4life work?

To see Education for Life in action watch this 30 minute video or read on….

Firstly the basic amenities such as classrooms, latrines and water are installed or renovated. Then Ed4life committees made up of parents and teachers are founded at each school to drive the integrated Ed4life programme. This programme provides the following activities, which strengthen health and learning of students, teachers and parents at each school:

    • Teachers are trained in basic pedagogic methods;

    • A school resource library is established in each school –including text books and teaching aids;

    • A kitchen garden is established in each school to provide nutritious food for new school canteens;

    • A canteen is established in each school offering nutritious food to all pupils;

    • Students, parents & teachers are trained in improved organic food production as a long-term investment in nutrition and a potential source of increased income;

    • Worm composting units are established in each school to improve yield of fruit and vegetable and to provide a means of generating school income;

    • Parents receive agricultural training, join literacy classes and boost their start-up businesses to help them face the challenge of meeting school costs;

    • Improved sanitation facilities and training in good hygiene practices are provided to avoid absence due to gastrointestinal illness.

    • Solar kits provide lighting and audio-visual learning facilities.

The programme is run by MfM in partnership with school staff, parents and students, with the full support of local and regional education authorities and other agencies.

Below you can watch testimonials from two of our beneficiaries – mothers who had never been to school before, who had the courage to join MfM’s parental literacy course so they could support her children’s education (please remember to turn on captions to view English subtitles).

https://youtu.be/-ZAoXBq8mqw

What are the benefits of Ed4life?

Communities involved in the programme should benefit from the existence of local schools that are able to provide safe, clean learning environments, where village children can all access a decent education from trained, motivated teachers.  Enhanced curriculum, combined with improved teaching practices and educational resources enables schools to produce better educated children who are capable of continuing to further education and training- ultimately able to choose whether to feed and support themselves through sustainable agricultural practices or through gaining alternative employment beyond the community.

Each school receives support for 3-4 years.  At the end of the funding period we expect the following outcomes to have been achieved:

      • A significant improvement in the quality of teaching.

      • An increase in parental income and consequent ability of parents to afford school fees and other school costs.

      • An increase in attendance rates and decrease in drop out rates.

    • Improved nutrition due to consumption of school garden produce.

    • Improved nutrition contributing to better attendance and performance of pupils.

    • A decrease in absenteeism due to sickness, as a result of the assimilation of WASH messages.

    • A significant increase in pupil attainment.


 

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