Youth and Schools Forum: with Malawi Minister of Education
Teachers, educators, youth leaders, and NGO leaders, from across Scotland and Malawi, joined us for our SMP and MaSP co-hosted Youth and Schools Forum on Thursday 31st March 2022.
The event launched our updated School Partnerships Practical Guide and we were delighted to welcome Malawi Minister of Education and longstanding friend of the Scotland Malawi Partnership, Hon Agnes Nyalonje, as our keynote speaker.
The Hon. Minister wrote the Foreword for the new guide and gave a powerful speech giving her full support for the SMP and MaSP, and endorsing our work supporting youth and school links.
The event included:
- Welcome and introductions - Luisa Brown, Youth & Schools Officer, SMP
- About the new Youth and Schools Partnership Guide - Luisa Brown
- Keynote speaker introduction - David Hope-Jones, CEO, SMP
- Keynote address: Malawi Minister of Education - Minister of Education, Hon. Agnes Nyalonje
- Teacher and Student Voices:
- Namadzi CDSS and Student, partnered with Penicuik Primary School
- Gleniffer High School Partnered with Dzenza
- Mtuli Foundation
- Break out sessions on:
- ‘Common challenges in School Partnerships’ - Facilitated by Ruth Maluwa, Regional Coordinator, South, MaSP
- ‘Ensuring we don’t reinforce stereotypes’ - Facilitated by Mtameni Kachusa, Regional Coordinator, North, MaSP
- New resources and support - Luisa Brown, SMP
- Report: MaSP visits of Malawi schools with Scottish links - Mtameni Kachusa & Ruth Maluwa
- Impact of School Partnerships & Challenges in Education - David Nkhonjera, Synod of Livingstonia Education Department
- Closing statements - Linda Dembo, Programmes Officer, MaSP
- Informal post-event discussion – Facilitated by David Hope-Jones
Schools Partnership Practical Guide:
The last two years have seen new challenges and unprecedented change across the world due to Covid-19, the increasing threat of climate change and a growing understanding of equalities issues. The SMP recognises that school partnerships have been especially affected in recent times and so we are keen to update the advice, support and information we offer schools to ensure it is as relevant and impactful as possible.
We have updated our Schools Partnership Practical Guide for 2022, with lots of new content informed by:
- Members’ learning around digital working through the Covid-era;
- Feedback from Malawian schools, including recent MaSP visits to 17 schools across Malawi with Scottish partnerships;
- the 2020 Scottish Government-funded research by Irma Arts, titled ‘Scottish secondary schools and their links with developing countries’;
- the 2020 Scottish Government-funded research by Steka Skills and Queen Margaret University, titled ‘An Alternative to Voluntourism: How Youth Solidarity Groups in Malawi Empower young Malawians and Scots’;
- the Government of Malawi’s ‘Vision for 2063: An Inclusively Wealthy and Self-reliant Nation’;
- updated advice and support from IDEAS, ScotDec and others in the development education community;
- Great new videos and resources from “Radi-Aid: Africa for Norway”, by the Norwegian Students' and Academics' Assistance Fund (SAIH).
We believe this updated guide will support schools to strengthen existing links and build strong foundations for new links, with strong educational benefits in both nations.
From the outset, we have taken a hugely consultative approach with this updated guide, inviting input from dozens of organisations and individuals across Scotland and Malawi.
The new guide is entirely digital, so any section can be updated at any time, and we’re therefore really keen to invite early feedback and input from stakeholders. Our Youth and Schools Forum will therefore not only be ‘launching’ the new guide but also continuing to consult on its content and framing.
Other new products and services:
The SMP has launched a fully updated set of resources and support for youth and school partnerships:
The SMP is also currently developing 17 new digital resources to support teachers in Scotland deliver high-impact lessons relating to Malawi which directly link to the Scottish curriculum. This includes an ambitious new suite of resources and lesson plans specifically covering more sensitive areas of critical learning:
- Power and poverty, a critical understanding
- Use of images and video: the narratives we construct
- Scotland and Malawi: Understanding our shared history
- Partnership vs charity
- Critical dialogue groups (with QMU and StekaSkills)
- Understanding the ‘White Savior’ complex
- Do No Harm: exploring intended and unintended consequences
- The case for Climate Justice
- Understanding Malawi: its language and culture
We really invite member and stakeholder input as we develop our new resources in these areas.