Our education programmes over the last few years have shown how much of a significant difference education can make in rabies elimination. By equipping children with the skills and knowledge needed to protect themselves from this disease, we are helping to ensure dog bites are avoided and correct actions are taken if a dog bite does occur.
This month, we had exciting developments in our education programme, with plans to include these vital lessons as part of the primary school curriculum in Malawi!!
Our Malawi Education Co-ordinator Debbie led talks with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) to reach a groundbreaking agreement for this inclusion of rabies education into the curriculum. We received strong support from the authorities who approved the development and we hope to soon see it rolled out across the nation.
The first phase of this will be in the form of a story book for early grade learners. Chisomo and Her New Puppy is a short story created by Debbie as an example of how to engage with young learners. This will be the basis for MIEâs curriculum writers to help teach young learners about this deadly disease.
The information on rabies will then be carried into Standard 7 and 8 textbooks with the hopes of training components also added in at Teacher Training Colleges. We plan to begin the next stage of this new initiative in April, so before long, students will be receiving rabies education as part of their schooling!!
We would like to express special thanks to Acting Executive Director of MIE, Dr Kaambankandzanja, and Inspector of Schools of the Directorate of Inspectorate and Advisory Services, Mrs Saukira, for agreeing to include this content under the heading of health and safety! This education material really can save lives and we look forward to keeping you updated on developments in the future!!