Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

Ntonda School - Growing Pains

Aug 29, 2013

Ntonda Primary School began in 1964 in the small hut of a church leader, with about 12 students. In 1974, the school relocated and the construction of new buildings took place with much help from Jack Hutton (one of the former missionaries here at Namikango). Since that time, the number of students has grown each year, and is now at 1,450. This is a remarkable testimony to the fact that small, humble beginnings can grow into something great.

However, while the number of students and teachers has grown tremendously, the buildings have remained the same. Throughout the years, the classrooms have had patching here and there, but no serious addition has been added to increase space. As a result, three of the 8 grades have to meet outside under a tree to conduct their classes. The ratio of students to teacher is supposed to be limited to 60 students per teacher. But when the rains come and these classes who meet outside must take shelter inside, it's not uncommon to have over a hundred children of different grade levels all in the same room. Anyone who has been a teacher for very long knows that such an environment for any extended period of time is not good for teaching or for learning.

Ntonda is a church-sponsored and government-managed school. The Mission furnishes the Bible teacher and some oversight and the Malawian government furnishes the other teachers and the curriculum. It is a good relationship between us and Malawi officials.

Because of growth and school conditions, the school and community have begun working on a solution. In many government-run schools, like Ntonda, the government will contribute towards the rebuilding and improvement of the school... if the community will participate in the effort as well. This is the case with Ntonda now. The government is contributing 30% while the community (along with us) is supposed to contribute 70%. That means the government provides the bags of cement and a builder

for the work, while community members mold the bricks that will be used. Approximately 50,000 bricks are needed to complete this project for three additional classrooms. The school leaders are urging the community to see the need and participate. These people are very poor and progress is currently moving very slowly.

Ntonda provides an avenue for young boys and girls to learn not only math and science, but also the Bible and Christian principles. Timothy Jailos is an employee of Namikango who teaches the daily Bible class for the school. In addition to this, he holds an after-school "Bible Club" with students who are interested to learn more. This provides a great opportunity for disciplining and mentoring of these children. Yet, they still need a good place and a good environment in which to learn. The completion of this project will go a long way toward helping all these children. There are other buildings at the school that need repairs or may need to be rebuilt completely. [see pictures this page] The opportunity for good to the Kingdom is beyond measure. Please pray for Ntonda School, the staff, and especially for the students. Pray for the spiritual growth of the students in this community and that the funds and resources needed will be provided. How much help are we willing to offer?