In Madagascar, a multi-purpose classroom revolutionizes learning

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Aubry Razanakoto
Classe polyvalente
UNICEF/UN0541604/Ramasomanana
25 February 2022

It’s a first for western Madagascar. A multipurpose classroom is being built in the Marovoay school district. The infrastructure is an innovation in the educational system in Madagascar due to its double use: to reduce overcrowding in schools and to hold practical courses in scienfitic subjects.

Equipped with school furniture, separate toilets for girls and boys and equipment to support sciences courses, the construction contributes to the objectives of the Support for the Improvement of the Quality of Education in Madagascar (AQUEM) project and is financed by the French Development Agency.  

"This multipurpose room can accommodate all of our students," says Herve Auguste, the Director of the College. The school currently has nearly 1,602 students, with an average of 70 students per classroom. During the week, the rooms of the neighboring primary school are used to hold the students. "I had to give up two classrooms while we’re also overcrowded" says Marlyn Olivia, the principal of the neighboring elementary school.  

This project was carried out following consultations between UNICEF, the Regional Directorate of Education and the school district of Marovoay. In addition to school furniture, equipment to support science classes is also planned to support the teaching of physics, chemistry, life sciences and computer science. 

"We’ll finally be able to put theoretical knowledge into practice. Students will find it easier to absorb the lessons. For the teachers, the existence of this room solves the lack of learning materials," said Paulari, Pedagogical Advisor at Marovoay school district.

A total of 39 science teachers have also been trained to support the teaching and in how to use the new materials. "This will completely change the way our students learn,” says Marlyn Olivia, the principal of the elementary school. “This is the first time in Marovoay that students have benefited from such important infrastructure. It is an opportunity for the children to progress in their education."