Determined to Develop is heavily engaged in its signature project of constructing a new high school that will have national reach in Malawi, Africa. Wasambo High School will be a charter school in the Chilumba area of Malawi that will provide a high quality education for Malawian students that’s accessible to students from rural, impoverished backgrounds. With an emphasis on academics as well as student life, the school will incorporate programs that educate the whole person – emphasizing mind, thought, integrity and character.
Wasambo High School will be based on a model of extended learning that will incorporate the Malawi Education Syllabus with International Standards and will raise the bar for learning in Malawi. The program will include models adopted by successful charter schools in the United States.
This month, Determined to Develop held entry examinations for possible candidates for several full tuition scholarships at the school. This means that the students selected will attend all four years for free. All of these candidates are from our local catchment area, with the idea that our school should have a national reach but also serve the local population, our neighbors. Hundreds of standard 8 students from the local area were selected by their primary (elementary) schools to attend the examinations. These students wrote English, Science and General Knowledge papers.
32 of the highest scoring students were invited to a 3 day workshop held at Maji Zuwa. The workshop, designed to assess students on their social, leadership and problem solving skills, involved a variation of activities. One activity, conducted by University of Dayton engineering student Rob Green, involved students imagining being stranded on a desert island. They were given a list of equipment, and as a group, had to explain what they would create and use in a survival situation.
After the candidates enjoyed lunch together at the high school construction site, Wasambo High School Project Manager Ken Mwakalenga facilitated a session about living a just life. Another session focused on students as they were given moral dilemmas and then presented how they would resolve the challenges they were posed with. The next evening, candidates demonstrated their unique skills during a talent show. The students wide range of talents included traditional dances, comedy sketches, acapella performances and poetry.
Determined to Develop is offering full scholarships to local students with a great potential for success who could not otherwise afford to attend high school. The goal is to educate students who are from the region, as well as those coming from other parts of the country. Providing scholarships to these young students from the Wasambo catchment area means a future pool of leaders, critical thinkers and academics. Determined to Develop believes that a quality education is imperative to positive development. With the construction of Wasambo High School, this is certainly a step in the right direction!