Migration and Society (MASO), a registered non-governmental organization, has partnered with the Department of Civic Education under the Ministry of Local Government, Culture and National Unity to spearhead mindset change campaigns.
MASO Executive Director Dr.Harvey Chidoba Banda said in an interview on Saturday that mindset is critical in mobilizing Malawians towards alleviating their social and economic challenges.
“MASO believes that changing mindset is a solution towards social and economic challenges. This is in line with Malawi’s Agenda 2063, whose ultimate goal is transforming the welfare of Malawians and ensuring sustainable economic growth and development. On this, MASO reached an understanding with the Department of Civic Education under the Ministry of Local Government, to join forces on this mindset change drive,” said Banda.
He disclosed that under the partnership, MASO will have four pillars to implement. These include migration, education, youth empowerment and economic empowerment.
He said under the education pillar, MASO introduced the “Excel in Education Project” with a view to inculcating a hard working spirit amongst school-going children.
Additionally, in this connection, and under this project, MASO introduced performance-based competition at Thandazga Primary School on the outskirts of Mzuzu City, where, at the beginning of the school term, students were encouraged to work hard in their studies and promised to give gifts to best performing students at the end of the term.
“On December 22, 2023, all schools in Malawi were having a ceremony of closing end of term one. As promised, MASO attended the school closing ceremony at Thandazga Primary School. Best performing students in all classes were rewarded with school-related materials such as hard covers, note books, and writing materials. In addition to the gifts, MASO would like to orient students that education is important not only because it empowers someone to secure jobs, but also to start various income-earning opportunities in the face of ever-increasing unemployment,” said Dr. Banda.
In addition to the gifts, MASO, with the support from well-wishers, intends to assist the school in various areas, for instance, infrastructure and solar power since the area is not yet connected to ESCOM power despite being located a few kilometres from Luwinga ESCOM power house.
The ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere at the school, which is conducive to stunts’ learning and educational success.
During the function, Banda also delivered a motivational speech, expressing MASO’s commitment to transforming education in Malawi. The Director highlighted that the “Excel in Education” project is not just about gifts but a visionary initiative to reshape the educational landscape.
“Our aim is to ignite a passion for learning, to instil the belief that education is not just a path, but a powerful tool for individual and societal growth,” he said.
This innovative approach introduces a paradigm shift, focusing on holistic development and inspiring a thirst for knowledge. The rewards serve as symbols of achievement, urging students to view education as a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.
The head teacher, PTA committee, and village headmen praised this forward-thinking strategy, believing it will foster a culture of academic excellence. The head teacher and MASO’s director jointly encouraged students to view challenges as stepping stones, reinforcing the idea that each setback is an opportunity to learn and grow from.
Quoting Nelson Mandela, the director said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
This quote encapsulates MASO’s vision, emphasizing the transformative impact education can have on individuals and society.
As the event garnered media attention from outlets such as the Voice of Livingstonia (VOL) and Times TV, MASO underscored the importance of collaborative efforts to address educational challenges.
Meanwhile, MASO and the head teacher have urged teachers to intensify efforts to enhance students’ reading and writing skills. They appreciated the teachers for their hard work.
For more information, support or partnership inquiries, please contact the following numbers: Executive Director, Dr.Harvey Chidoba Banda, 0888349815, 0991025190 and Project Officer, Audrey Murphy, 0990566956.