Namikango Mission

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A Humble Beginnig

Nov 12, 2019

The Ntonda Grade School had an humble beginning in a grassthatchedhut with mud walls and dirt floors. A church leader, Bro GarnettLimani, decided to have his children and a few others taught in his home.This was in the early days of Namikango Mission. A few years later, in1967, that little class had grown and it was moved to a local churchbuilding with local volunteers.

As they continued to grow, a local Chief offered a portion of land to beused for the school. This is in Jali District, about 30 miles fromNamikango, where it has been since 1973. The school first taughtGrades 1 through 3.

Some years later the school wasupgraded to a full primary school with Grades1 through 7. The local teachers weregradually replaced by "Certified Teachers."When a "Certified" teacher came onboard, itmeant they met federal guidelines and thegovernment took over the responsibility fortheir salaries. Eventually, we had only oneMission teacher left - the Bible teacher. AMission Bible teacher has remained atNtonda School through the years and hashad outstanding success. He also serves asa liaison between the Mission and the school.

As is normal for any successful school, there are extracurricularactivities such as football(soccer), band, etc. But, surprisingly, the mostpopular after-school activity at Ntonda School is the "Bible Club" led bythe Mission teacher, Timothy Jailosi. There are 150 students who stayafter school for an hour or two to participate in singing, prayer, Biblestudy, and personal testimony. Here Bro. Jailosi has opportunity to getclose and personal with the students and help shape their spiritual lives.This activity is so popular it serves as an example which other schoolsare following.

In Malawi, up until 1994, parents had to pay a tuition for their childrento go to school. That meant most families could not send their childrento school; they simply had no money for school. But in 1994 thegovernment decided schools should be tuition free. At that time we had about 300 students enrolled; the following yearenrollment doubled. This was the case for allschools throughout Malawi.

For the first four years, students are taughtin Chichewa, the local traditional language.After Grade 4 the primary language shifts toEnglish for the balance of the Malawian education program.

Availability of schools in Malawi is very limited and students must taketheir education seriously in order to stay in school. Good grades arerequired. Malawian students realize theireducation is vital to their future lives.

While grade school space is limited, highschool space is even more limited. Only a fewof the top students qualify to go on to highschool . . . and even fewer qualify for college.

To give a picture of how Ntonda Schoolhas performed: last year; Ntonda came in withthe second highest ranking among 17 schooldistricts in our area, 13 girls and 21 boysqualified to go on to Secondary or HighSchool. This is an honor and a highachievement indeed.

There were 1,689 students enrolled thisyear with 881 Girls and 808 Boys. The Ntonda School has had itschallenges with classrooms and teachers’ houses devastated by asevere storm. In addition to building damage, the school does not haveelectricity. This is a hinderance especially since we have no moderntechnology like computers or even lights for dark classrooms.

This is a ministry that started in the early days of Namikango and hascontinued to this day. With the students’ performance improving, andwith the recent new classroom block that was built, Ntonda School andthe community around are excited about the direction things are going.We at Namikango have been participating in teaching the kids at theBible Club and we work closely with the school. We’re looking forward tothe coming years.

by Symon Katete