100 percent of EKARI's senior year cohort passed their final exams! Congratulations to all 10 students - Olive, Biziwick, Hastings, Dyson, Aubrey, Carolyn, Haswell, Falida, Chisomo, and Shepherd! This represents a 100 percent pass-rate for the 5th year in a row for EKARI students! In comparison, the country-wide pass rate in Malawi was only 50 percent. EKARI's life skills training contributed to this amazing pass rate.
And for the 3rd year in a row, 100 percent of the seniors qualify for university! As first generation college students, they will now start to receive guidance through EKARI's Higher Education Preparation Program. The students will start university in early to mid 2020. At that time, EKARI will support 45 university students.
Let's not forget our past cohorts! The seven students from the 2018 senior year cohort are now studying nursing, accountancy, information science and technology, environmental management, social and development studies, manufacturing engineering, and journalism!
EKARI's most recent high school graduates received support from Harry, EKARI's Youth Coordinator, who worked with each student individually to assess their skill level and goals in order to help them decide which colleges to apply to. Each student applied to a mimimum of three higher education institutions. Several students applied to five or more.
Four of the seven graduates started their higher education in February! Linley is studying Information Science and Technology. Catherine is studying Environmental Management. Frank is studying Development Studies. And Michael will focus on Business Administration. All are studying for their Bachelor's degrees.
Two more of the seven students, Promise and Stella, recently received their university acceptance letters! Promise will study for his Bachelor's Degree in Manufacturing Engineering at Malawi's University of Science and Technology. Stella will study for her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing and Midwifery at Malawi's Kamuzu College of Nursing. They will start in late summer or early fall.
Rather than simply waiting for school to start, Promise and Stella have taken advantage of the time between high school and university to support their families. Promise works part-time for a local NGO conducting surveys and gathering assessment information in Phalombe communities. Stella works as a teacher at a local primary school.
Thank you for supporting these young Malawian leaders as they continue on a path toward reaching their full potential.
In January, we hosted a two day motivational and interactive gathering for EKARI's college students focused on entrepreneurship, resilience, and health.
On the first day, a young Malawian entrepreneur, Gift Sukez Sukali, shared his story of how he created and continues to grow his business. He emphasized the importance of starting a business to create jobs for the many unemployed youth in Malawi. Next, a past student, Laston, told his story of resilience. After being underemployed for some time and continuously searching for a better opportunity, Laston finally obtained a job relevant to his college studies. Finally, a health expert spoke with the students about self-care and sex education while in college.
On the second day, the students discussed challenges that their families and communities face and brainstormed solutions. EKARI's goal is for the students we support to become leaders in their communities and one day help to solve the challenges that their families face on a daily basis.
We are excited to share that 100% of EKARI-sponsored high school seniors passed their senior-year exam… again! This represents a 100% pass-rate for the 4th year in a row! (This is also terrific news considering that there is a country-wide pass rate of only 63%.) And for the 2nd year in a row, 100% of the seniors qualify for university!
This shows that EKARI’s Tutoring, Library, and Mentorship Programs - which include life skills training - are making a significant impact, allowing students a better chance for attending higher education and increased likelihood of future employment.
These students are currently participating in EKARI's Computer Program so that they will be able to complete assignments while at college. Higher education institutions in Malawi require students to complete assignments on a personal computer even though most youth have not had access to computer programs prior to starting their higher education and cannot afford to buy a computer. We loan students a laptop during college.
Moreover, as first generation college students, they will now start to receive guidance through our Higher Education Preparation Program, which helps them navigate the application process.
During the last weekend of August 2018, Mr. Patrick Kapito worked with EKARI's tutoring teachers and students to help them teach and study, respectively, in order to learn rather than memorize. Mr. Kapito is a local university lecturer who specializes in imparting critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Mr. Kapito first observed each of the seven tutoring teachers whom EKARI contracts with as they taught the tutoring sessions. He also observed the students' small group discussions and practical lessons (science experiements!). After day-long tutoring sessions, Patrick Kapito met with the teachers to discuss and give pointers for how the teachers can instill creative thinking and lifelong learning skills within the students, provide hands-on experiences, and create lessons based on real life situations. The teachers will use this knowledge moving forward with our future tutoring lessons.
Patrick Kapito then met with EKARI's students the following day. He focused on report writing, note taking, communication/dialogue, debate management, critical thinking, speech, and reading comprehension skills. At the start of the day, Patrick noted that students especially faced challenges regarding independent thinking, public speaking, reading retention, and note taking. After much hard work and effort by Patrick and EKARI's students, there was great improvement by the end of the day! There is much work still to be done, but Patrick has given EKARI's students the lifelong learning skills they need to continue their efforts. Patrick will visit EKARI again during the December 2018 school holiday in order to continue working with EKARI's students!
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