UNICEF delivers 60,000 desks to schools in need
Lilongwe, 28 September 2021 – UNICEF has provided 60,000 desks to improve the learning environment for children in 1,200 schools across Malawi. The desks were procured and delivered in the last seven months with support from the KIND fund, founded by United States TV host Lawrence O’Donnell and UNICEF USA.
The Ministry of Education estimates that 3.4 million primary school learners do not have desks (Education Management Information System- EMIS 2020 report). Together with the KIND fund, UNICEF has delivered close to 300,000 desks in the last 10 years.
“Quality learning requires a safe, friendly environment, with appropriate facilities and infrastructure. With every desk, we are helping to keep children in school by increasing attendance and improving the learning experience. Desks also improve learners’ participation in class activities,” says UNICEF Malawi Representative Rudolf Schwenk.
“When a child sits on a desk, the posture is good and they are comfortable so they are more alert and attentive in class. Sitting on the floor affects children’s performance- they get tired from sitting in that uncomfortable position and are not keen to get up to participate in class activities,” says Justin Mkandawire, Headteacher at Chisangawe Primary School in Nkhatabay, one of the schools that have benefitted from the KIND fund donation.
In addition to desks, the KIND fund provides scholarships to secondary school students at risk of dropping out of school. Since 2011, over 20,000 girls have been supported to complete their secondary school education.
UNICEF Malawi also provides safe water and sanitation facilities in school, promotes inclusive education by making classrooms and other school facilities accessible to learners with disabilities, supports continuous professional development of teachers and promotes safe schools by empowering learners with personal protection strategies, creating a protective environment at school through the one school, one police officer initiative and establishment of violence reporting, referral and follow up mechanisms in and through the school.
Notes to editors
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.