Education for Life

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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:

2000 children,

50 teachers

1500 parents.

MfM usually has at least 4 Phases running at any one time, which directly benefits 14,200 people.

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.  Current school locations can be seen on the website map.

 

How does Ed4life work?

Where needed, participating schools receive support to strengthen their basic amenities such as classrooms, latrines and access to clean water. Then, the following integrated programme of activities is delivered to strengthen health and learning of all at the 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 enhance soil quality and provide a means of generating school income;

    • Parents are provided with training opportunities 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.

    • Where appropriate, 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.

 

What are the benefits of Ed4llife?

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 associated 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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