GLASGOW is playing host to six teachers from Malawi as part of a skills exchange programme.

The Evening Times reported earlier how Glasgow City Council education department had set up Malawi Leaders of Learning (MLOL) to share resources with the African country.

And now the first groups of Malawian teaching staff have arrived to tour schools and meet their Scottish counterparts.

Maureen McKenna, executive director of education services and founder of the council’s MLOL project, said: “The programme has seen the Malawian teachers working in primaries and secondaries across the city – alongside some of the teachers who visited their country in the summer.

“Everyone is learning from each other – sharing good practice and the young people are hearing all about the African education system.”

As part of their visit, the team from Blantyre, in south west Malawi, had lunch with Lord Provost Sadie Docherty.

But the Scottish visit is especially poignant for one of the African team.

For head teacher Grace Dick, it was also the first chance to meet her five-month-old grandson whose dad, Grace’s son, emigrated to Aberdeen.

Grace’s son and daughter-in-law were waiting at Glasgow Airport with baby Mark when the MLOL’s plane landed.

Grace, 60, said: “It was marvellous to meet him. My son has lived in Aberdeen for a number of years and we miss him, so to meet my grandson was very good.”

The meeting with Mrs Docherty, at the City Chambers, was also a chance for the new tranche of Glasgow’s MLOL teachers to meet the Provost and their African peers.

A new group of staff from Glasgow schools will go to Malawi in June next year.

A first group of 10 staff from Glasgow schools spent five weeks working in Malawi this summer. Initial evaluations reveal how well the MLOL project is being received in Scotland and Malawi.

Here already, almost £60,000 has been raised for the charity Link Community Development Scotland – partners of MLOL – and a co-ordinator has been employed in Malawi to link with the city’s project board .

Fifteen young people, the Malawi Young Leaders of Learning, have also been chosen from nearly 2000 applications from Glasgow schools to take part in leader-ship activities that will culminate in the group going to Malawi in September.

The MYLOL programme leaders will help the youngsters sharpen their leadership skills and raise their awareness and understanding of local and global issues.

This partnership aims to expand the educational experience and knowledge of both sets of young people, enabling them to become leaders within their own communities and beyond.

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