Mama Khadijah Education Complex is the main project of Al-Barakah Charity Trust that comprises of the primary school, a secondary school (The Mama Khadija Girls Academy) and the Clinic. It is located in the Eastern part of Malawi at Namwera in Mangochi District.
Four years have now elapsed since the opening of the state-of-the-art Complex. Its construction started in 2006, but the school opened its doors in January 2008.
The Mama Education Complex is not a commercial entity and its is a product of good and cordial partnership between Al-Barakah Charity Trust, Petroda Malawi Limited and the Malawi Government.
Mama Khadija Primary School
Mama Khadija Primary School was established after noticing that most of the girls recruited from the rural areas have poor academic background and there was great need of a good primary school that can upgrade the academic standard of some of girls.
The primary has structures/facilities second to non in the area e.g. there are 32 well-built classes, 15 self-contained teachers’ houses with electricity connected, water connected ablution blocks, an IDA standard multi-purpose hall, administration block, hostels for 320 girls etc .
Today, Mama Khadija Girls Primary School consists of a Boarding of two stream (Std 5 to 8) and a day school (Std 1 to 8) in partnership with the Ministry of Education. Currently there are 200 boarding pupils while the day school has 400 pupils. The primary school shall act as the main feeder school to the secondary school which is just a stone throw away.
Mama Khadija Girls Academy ( a Secondary School)
Mama Khadija Girls Academy is a secondary school with 20 classrooms, 8 hostels that can take 1000 girls, a modern computer laboratory, 2 high standard science laboratories, home economics laboratory, a 70mx40m multipurpose hall, an administration block, 45 staff houses, and an over 900 sq metre Masjid. Currently the Academy has a total of 602 boarding students in form 1 to from 4 with 32 qualified teachers and 70 administrative and supporting staff.
About 98% of student’s fees (boarding) are being subsidized or fully paid by the Shareholders of Petroda Malawi Limited, while 20% of the student’s contributions are sponsored by Islamic Zakaat Fund (IZF).
Mama Khadija Clinic
Mama Khadija Clinic is serving students, staff and the community at a cost that is over 60% subsidized by the Shareholders of Petroda Malawi Limited. The Mama Khadija clinic is headed by a well qualified expatriate Medical Doctor and possibly currently the only Medical Doctor in the whole Namwera/Katuli/Makanjira area.
The clinic is delivering several services to the community including out-patients service, HIV/Aids awareness, under-five clinic etc and soon with the Ministry of Health support shall start, like its sister clinic at Assalam Complex in Mangochi, administering ARVs to patients. Until now, it is also the only clinic in the whole area that is having an Automatic Hematology Analyzer( Complete Blood Count machine).
After four years of operation, we thank Almighty God that end of year examinations results for Mama Khadija Girls Academy has been good in spite of the weak background of most of the students. The officials at Al Baraka Charity Trust hope in future the results shall reach excellent levels. The following table shows how the school has been fairing during end of year Government (Maneb) examinations in terms of results since it opened four years ago:
|Year||Exam||Number of Students Entered||Number of Students Passed||Pass Rate|
In the 2010 Malawi School Certificate Examinations (the first year for Mama Khadija Academy), all 50 students passed MSCE. A total of 29 students got 6 credits including English and that make them qualified to enter into the University in Malawi subject to space availability and entry exams. Out of the several distinctions, a total of 5 girls got distinctions in mathematics. In the year 2011 the results were better than any other secondary school in the district as well as surrounding districts.
Since Mama Khadija Girls Academy opened four years ago, only one (1) student dropped due to marriage, many were dropped due to academic failure caused by mostly their weak background and very few because of discipline issues. Apart from learning Maneb subjects on the curriculum, the girls are also taught and prepared for their future responsibilities under a subject called Taribiya (social life training) so that they grow with confidence, good conduct and spiritually well groomed. Basic Arabic language and Islamic studies are taught too.
Fighting Stereotypes in Mangochi
There have been a lot of stereotypes locally and nationally against the girls in Mangochi and surrounding districts. The results above dispel the long existing notion that Mangochi girls because of their cultural background and beliefs are only interested in marriage and not school.
Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB) results above prove that given opportunities, adequate facilities and role models, girls in Mangochi and surrounding districts can do well and become very productive citizens ofMalawi like others. Because of the excellent facilities that are available at Mama Khadija Girls Academy,Malawi National Examination Board has made the place as a cluster centre for STD 8, JCE and MSCE examinations for all Namwera zone schools.
Many local leaders and the community at large occasionally make tours to the school to vindicate what they have heard before of the magnificent Mama Khadija Education Complex.
Economically, the area has been empowered whereby currently on average annually K84 million Kwacha is spent as wages for the 170 staff and purchasing of commodities to feed over 800 girls in boarding. Some members of the surrounding community have secured jobs at the Mama Khadija Education Complex while others have witnessed their businesses booming.
Albarakah Charity Trust’s wish is to see in two decades from now , a good number of former Mama Khadija Girls Academy students especially those from the rural becoming role models and professionals in law, medicine, nursing, education, engineering, accountancy, ICT, social sciences, social leaders etc. Such girls/ladies shall be economically empowered and productive citizens of Malawi. And such girls/ladies shall be role models who would inspire other girls to follow suite and above all some shall be well informed/exposed mothers and spiritually inspired.
Al-Barakah Charity Trust therefore extends appreciation to the Shareholders of Petroda Malawi Limited for the construction of over 90% of the buildings at Mama Khadija Education Complex and for providing 80% of the running budget, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah for donating thirty two (32) classrooms at the primary school, the Malawi Government for all the logistics, making the land available for the project and tax allowances, and the staff for their efforts. We also appreciate the role of students’ parents/guardians and their understanding at a time when standards were being implemented for the first time, and the community in the district for welcoming and participating in the project. Most parents are pleased to see the behavior and the confidence their daughters display during holidays.