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Quick Reads + Malawi

Media archive · 177 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Malawi

In Defence of Malawian Languages

Following Malawi's government decision to introduce English as a medium of instruction from grade one, Steve Sharra defends local languages and makes the case for multilingualism:

Teachers and lecturers in our secondary schools and universities are observing a trend in which students from private schools speak perfect English, but their reasoning, writing and problem-solving skills are not well developed. This is even as the Independent Schools Association of Malawi (ISAMA) is reporting reporting that 80 percent of students selected to Malawian universities are coming from private schools.

Language researchers have also found that children who speak more than one language exhibit better academic performance than children who know only one language, regardless of what that language is. This is why our language of instruction policy needs to promote multilingualism, and not monolingualism. Just a generation ago most Malawians were multi-lingual, speaking two or more languages on average. Today’s generation knows two languages, English and Chichewa, on average. If we do not enact policies to develop our local languages, the coming generations of Malawians will be reduced to only one language, English.

Monolingualism encourages insularity, a restricted worldview in which the only knowledge available to one is from one linguistic source. The danger with the new policy, as it stands, is the damage it can potentially cause to Malawian languages. The new policy will mean that as a country we will allocate more resources to English at the expense of nurturing and developing local languages.

What Happened to Creative Writing in Malawi?

Steve Sharra discusses the reasons behind the fall of quality of creative writing in Malawi:

Of the many private universities that are mushrooming across the country, very few offer humanities courses where people can study languages and literature, creative writing and literary criticism. The University of Malawi has been operating without a university bookshop for some eighteen years now. Funding problems in the universities mean that even the university libraries are unable to stock new literature.

Malawians Should Brace for More Cash-gate Scandal

Steve Sharra explains why Malawians should brace for more cash-gate scandal after revelations that some powerful Malawians abused the Integrated Financial Management System internal controls to loot billions of public funds:

Social inequality is creating deep rifts among Malawians, a ticking time bomb. The increasing incidents of mass violence and vandalism we are witnessing across the country daily are but a tiny ripple in the sea of resentment resulting from this inequality. That is made more complicated by how our political parties have no established means of raising funds for their very survival, rendering the entire political arena a charade and a get-rich-quick scheme. Unless we address the fundamental causes of the deep inequality ripping Malawian society apart, we should brace ourselves for more cashgates.

Africa: African Women on Fire

Rumbidzai Dube explains why 2012 is the year for African women: “2012 has been a progressive year for African women in global politics. In April Joyce Banda of Malawi became the first ever female president of Malawi and the Second Female president in Africa [...]Just yesterday, Dr Nkosana Dhlamini-Zuma became the first female Chairperson for the African Union Commission.”

Malawi: Time to Rebuild Brand Malawi

Austin explains why Malawi needs to rebuild brand Malawi: “Over the past year or so Malawi has not been projected internationally in very positive light. The warm heart has been mired in problems, shortages and intolerance of varying kinds and magnitudes.”

Malawi: The Road to Abolishing the Death Penalty

Nlex describes the road to abolishing the death penalty in Malawi: “Malawi’s Legal Aid volunteers sift through a pile of files of those on death row. They are doing everything they can to abolish the death penalty in the country and lessen existing prisoners’ sentences. At least 29 men currently sit on death row in Malawi; however, no one has been executed in the country since 1994. Those sentenced to death are entitled to a mandatory appeal in the Supreme Court.”

Malawi: Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba Story

Moving Windmills is a documentary that tells the true story of William Kamkwamba, a young innovator from Malawi, Africa who taught himself to generate electricity by building a windmill from found materials and scrap parts.

Malawi: The President Talks Better in English Than Chichewa

Gregory Gondwe argues the Malawian president talk better in English than Chichewa, a Bantu language widely spoken in Malawi: “Whether it is a piece of fortune or a curse it is not for me to say. I believe there is evidence that two of our three Executive Heads that have presided over the country had experienced or experience problems to communicate in proper vernacular Chichewa.”

Malawi: Women in Prison

Sonya Donnelly writes about the plight of Malawian women in prison: “Prison is often a very expensive way of making vulnerable women’s life situations much worse. Once a woman is incarcerated miles from her home, sometimes for months or years without the case progressing, she may lose her home, her relationships and her children in the process.”

Malawi: Malawi in Photos

I Love Malawi is a blog that showcases photos from Malawi: ” If you have some interesting photos about Malawi, send us an email and we will post them on this blog. The photos will be rightly attributed to you in the blog!”

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