The voices of the first grade students in the room next to me sound like a beehive. All 93 girls and boys are motivated and eager to learn. They are sitting on a self-made bench and only a few of them have a notebook or pencil to write. On the other side the fourth grade students are having a lesson, too. But their room is missing the roof and dust is all over us as the wind blows through the roughly-made walls. Sun burns down from the cloudless sky, there is no shadow at all.
We are visiting Banda Hill Primary School in the Dedza District. It shows that UNICEF still has a lot work to do. The school was opened in 2013 but everything was missing which enables child-friendly education: tables, benches, notebooks, pencils, books… But the two most important things are there: nine teachers and 273 pupils, highly motivated.
The pupils’ school day starts at seven in the morning. Some of them have already walked half an hour to come to school. And if Banda Hill Primary School did not exist the six to 10-year-olds would have to walk 10 kilometres to the next school. So it’s better to have Banda Hill School, no matter what it looks like.