We’ve had some very disappointing news from Malawi – the education ministry has closed down Ganet’s Adventure School until some permanent classrooms can be built. Frustratingly, this happened at very short notice, only a few days before the new school year was due to begin.
Many private schools in Malawi have been hit by this wave of closures. Ganet’s Adventure School is nominally a private school, though school fees are minimal, and most funding comes from donors and supporters.
One consolation is that where other schools have been closed permanently, Ganet’s Adventure School can reopen once a block of two classrooms, office and toilets has been completed. This is in recognition of the investment in teacher training, water supply and bricks for building which has been made possible by the support of various donors and Ganet’s Adventure School Fund in the UK.
Gertrude Banda, the school director, is currently finalising an accurate budget for this work, and funding proposals to aid organisations have been made, though these may take longer to come to fruition. Once this has been done, we will decide upon the best way to meet the budget and secure the future of the school.
An NGO worker based close to the school has already pledged to help find funds for classrooms, and Ganet’s Adventure School Fund has some money in reserve from donations and the sale of Christmas cards, which has again gone well this year.
The ministry closed 861 schools that did not meet the minimum standards out of the 1,122 inspected schools (http://www.bnltimes.com//content/view/1192/26/), leaving tens of thousands of children having to find places in already overcrowded government schools. Many of the children from Ganet’s Adventure School are refusing to go to the government primary school, which has interrupting their education at a crucial time.
More fundraising will doubtless be needed, so if you have any ideas or are willing to help organise events in the New Year, let us know!