By Kate Snipes, Agricultural Counselor, U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya
School children in the rural communities of Malawi will soon have access to more qualified primary school educators, thanks in part to the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Food for Progress (FFP) program.
The Dowa Teacher Training College opened its doors on Nov. 30 and was built through a unique public-private partnership led by Planet Aid, a non-profit international development organization, with the help of FFP funds. Future primary school teachers will board at the college and learn core subjects, nutrition and health education and community development with a focus on the skills needed to teach in resource-limited schools. More than 250 teachers are expected to graduate from the college annually.
“This college stands as a testament to the strong cooperation and growing partnership between the United States and Malawi,” said U.S. Ambassador to Malawi Jeanine Jackson, during the college’s opening ceremony. “It reflects our shared commitment to quality education and the promise of a bright and prosperous future.”
More than 3,000 community members were in attendance, including the Honorable Vice President of Malawi, Khumbo Kachali, and the Honorable Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Eunice Kazembe.
In addition to the college, FAS supported farmer community groups throughout the country to provide education, training and resources in order to boost the income of rural communities and agricultural development in Malawi. FAS also donated 30,000 metric tons of wheat over the past three years through FFP to support Planet Aid and the organization Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) in Malawi on various capacity building projects.
The Dowa Teacher Training College helps satisfy an urgent need for qualified educators in Malawi and brings the country closer to meeting the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education. Helping fund the college showcases USDA’s commitment to assist rural communities worldwide through rural development and education in Africa.