Bashiri, Primary School Teacher
Bashiri, a primary school teacher in Kibirizi, Tanzania, knows too well the impact of malaria on education. In a typical week, Bashiri estimates that at least one or two students are missing from every class at Kibirizi Primary School because of malaria. These are the lesser known impacts of a malaria diagnosis, children miss school and vital lessons and find it difficult to catch up.
Students at Kibirizi Primary School are between the ages of 6 and 14, and malaria prevention education is part of the school curriculum.
The TCDC, an organisation funded by the Comic relief and GSK partnership, also send trained volunteers to teach the kids about the disease. But Bashiri says that educating children is only part of the problem. Sometimes the parents don’t know to take precautions at home, while others just don’t have the means in invest in preventative measures like mosquito nets.
"IT'S IMPORTANT FOR KIDS TO LEARN ABOUT MALARIA BECAUSE THEY'RE ALSO GETTING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HOW THEY CAN OVERCOME IT."
Bashiri believes passionately in education. “Like all schools, we follow a curriculum” he says. “Malaria falls under the science subjects. We teach science subjects four times a week. So it depends on the lesson plan when malaria prevention is taught.”
He also thinks the trained volunteers add another dimension to the education of his students. They come armed with different skills and information which, Bashiri says, is a useful way of ensuring students are attending and are provided with as much knowledge about malaria as possible.
“There’s a big impact because when a child misses classes, they have missed learning something.”
As a teacher, Bashiri is under no illusion about the problem...