History of School

 

UP SCHOOL CLASSES SCHOOL LIFE 20th ANNIVERSARY ACCOMPLISHMENTS & STRUGGLES

History of the Embangweni School for the Hard of Hearing

In 1994, there were some who wondered why a school for deaf kids was needed in a place like Embangweni, which was "very far". Deaf kids surely couldn't learn much, could they? Fast forward to 2014 and the Embangweni School for Hard of Hearing is celebrating 20 years of teaching success. On October 3 the school hosted an anniversary celebration attended by former teachers, some of the charter class students, heads of institutions, village headmen and representatives from the CCAP Education Office. It was not an anniversary of simply surviving for 20 years, but of continual growth and success. See the section "Anniversary Year" for details.


Students & staff in 1997

 

From the charter class of 1994 onward, students consistently have done well on the school leaving exam given to all Malawian students completing Primary School. Many of the learners have gone to secondary school and a number have completed Form 4. This is something not accomplished easily even by the hearing students. Over the past 20 years, the school has touched and improved the lives of many children and they in turn have shown their communities that "deaf is not death. Disability is not inability."

One of these, Fanny Singini, is a major success story. Fanny completed primary school at the Embangweni School for the Hard of Hearing, completed her secondary education at Robert Laws Secondary School and then completed teacher training at Loudon TTC. She is currently employed at the Bandawe School for Deaf, teaching Standard 4. The deaf can't learn much? Don't tell Fanny that. Other students, such as Frank and Levi, are planning to return to secondary school and improve their test scores in order to move on to advanced education. Levi's goal is to attend seminary and become a pastor. Deaf kids can't learn. Really??? Other graduates from the Embangweni School are also productive members of Malawian society. The girl Lonely works as a carpenter at St. John of God in Mzuzu. Patrick also works as a carpenter at the Bandawe School for Hard of Hearing. Mercy is employed at the Embangweni School for Hard of Hearing as a tailor.


Fanny Singini

 


Faculty in 2013

The teaching faculty has grown with the school and in 2014 numbered 12 classroom teachers, a head teacher and a junior head teacher. There are also three vocational education instructors, all of whom are deaf. Even though the location is remote, conditions sometimes difficult and the job certainly a challenge, teacher turnover is small. Many of the teachers have been at the school for much of their teaching lives. A number have made the effort to advance their education by taking college courses during school breaks and a few are attending university full time but planning to return to teach the deaf after obtaining a degree. Often special bonds seem to be built between teacher and students, as was seen when Mr. Mondwe, former teacher and interim head teacher at Embangweni, returned for the 20th anniversary. Apparently oblivious to the important people and activities going on, Mr. Mondwe could be seen surrounded by former students, hands flying in happy conversation.

 Secondary School for the Deaf - 2014


Mr. Mondwe and former students

A secondary school for the deaf has been constructed on the school grounds.  It opened on March 2, 2015 with 20 students (10 boys, 10 girls) in Form 1.  While waiting for fully qualified teachers to be posted, four teachers at the primary school for the deaf will share the teaching load at secondary while still conducting their regular classes.