Out of Ayrshire and heading to Africa

Pictured is the group of teachers who are heading to Malawi during their summer holiday to help to imrpove standards for primary pupils.
Pictured is the group of teachers who are heading to Malawi during their summer holiday to help to imrpove standards for primary pupils.

Teachers from Alloway and Doonfoot Primary schools are taking somethiing of a busman’s holiday this summer as they head off to help to improve education in a town in Malawi.

The group of six teachers including, including Alloway head teacher Karen Butler, are giving up nearly three weeks of their holidays to accompany members of Alloway Parish Church on the humanitarian trip to Bandawe.

During the visit, the group will work with staff from Bandawe Primary School to improve their teaching skills which will help to boost literacy and numeracy among local children.

The team will also take over much-needed resources including textbooks and IT equipment as well as motivational materials.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and although primary education is free, the quality of education has been affected by issues such as under-funding and a lack of staff and resources.

Alloway Primary School already has strong links with Bandawe Primary and this is their latest venture to help their African partner. Fun fairs, sponsored walks, ceilidhs, quizzes and a baking challenge were orgnaised to raise funds for the trip. Previous fund-raising has already helped to buy malaria nets and solar powered lights.

Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council’s lifelong learning portfolio holder, said: “Everybody from the schools and the wider community should be proud of their efforts to help those less fortunate than ourselves. There is much to admire in those taking part in the trip; they are going above and beyond to give those from the poorest backgrounds the chance to succeed and this is something we are embracing as a Council in south Ayrshire too.

“At a time when we are investing heavily in our schools, it’s hard to imagine 160 children being taught by one teacher outside or in a temporary structure, but this is normal in Bandawe.”