The vision for the “Transformation through Education” (TTE) Project, is to greatly enhance educational opportunities for High School students in the Namulenga region of Malawi, by creating a self-contained campus with adequate resources to provide a high quality education which is presently unavailable to young persons in that community.
Because quality Catholic secondary education is the purpose of this TTE project, the Library is being designed as the core focus of the campus’ cross-shaped circulation grid. The building will be circular, in harmony with traditional round structures throughout Africa. Unlike most school libraries in Malawi, which are only large enough for checking out books, this one will provide sufficient space for students to study and research projects. Moreover, because the Namulenga region is active seismically, the Library will be the only campus building with two stories. However, it and all other campus structures will be masonry construction, with a continuous reinforcement concrete wall beam above the opening height to resist strong earthquakes. In addition, because termites are an issue, roofs will have metal framing.
Student Housing for 112
Education & Classrooms
Of greatest importance in the provision of good quality education is the ability to hire and develop well-qualified teachers. This remote site in Namulenga, with its lack of access to various amenities, will need to include certain appealing accommodations to attract capable faculty and staff. The availability of decent housing for these two groups will have appeal to fine applicants for positions at this High School, while allowing administrators to be more selective in hiring.
Initial students will be incorporated by class, with the first groups being freshmen and sophomores (Form 1 and Form 2). The following year, these same students will advance to sophomore and junior grades (Form 2 and Form 3), while another new class of freshmen (Form 1), will be admitted.
Classrooms are to be laid out in pairs in individual blocks, connected by covered pavilions that can double as outdoor instructional spaces. The covered walkways are meant to provide shelter from the sun and protection from torrential seasonal rains. The modular construction design will enable the campus to be expanded as the student body continues to grow. Once the initial structures have been constructed and furnished for the first two cohorts of students and for their teachers, the secondary school program can finally commence.
Besides the typical curriculum, this facility will also provide appealing and practical opportunities to learn other skills and trades. As a valued way to advance beyond traditional farming methods and skills, teaching/learning facilities will be established for computer science, sewing metal work and carpentry. The opportunity to master ‘real life skills” will provide greater incentives to remain enrolled in school. Because the campus is laid out as a pedestrian oasis, the technical buildings will be located along the sides of the campus that will provide adequate access to the nearby roadway.
About / Origins
Transformation Through Education with Fr. Benedict Zele
Learn About Malawi
Malawi is a small, landlocked, southeastern African country. It is ranked among the least developed and most impoverished countries on the globe. Extreme poverty afflicts more than half of its estimated 19 million population who survive on less than two dollars a day. Poverty related challenges such as early marriage, migration of youth to South Africa, and HIV and AIDS remain prevalent and rampant.