In various communities in Malawi, access to education is a challenge. Students had to walk long distances before arriving at their school premises. But now, it is beginning to fade away. There’s a new kind of school in Malawi. This type of school system is known as 3D printed school. The first of it’s kind, Malawi’s 3D printed school has been put up in the district of Salima in central Malawi and near Salima, town in central Malawi, near the southwestern shore of Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi), northwest of the railhead and lake port of Chipoka.
When the community of Mcheza village, Malawi, woke up on Nov. 26 last year, they were in awe of a new structure that had sprouted out at the end of the schoolyard in the middle of the night. “The night before, men were working on the site setting up equipment and, in the morning, a whole new school block was standing on the ground reserved for a school,” Senior Chief Kalonga told Zenger News on the sidelines of an event to hand over the classroom to the community on June 18, 2021.
The classroom, printed overnight, is the world’s first 3D printed school, according to French firm 14Trees that constructed the classroom block in under 15 hours. Mcheza village, in the lakeshore district of Salima, 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of the capital Lilongwe, mirrors a typical Malawian village: a few sparse homesteads sprung across the open veld surrounded by dry farming fields that come to life during the farming season.
The aid project 14Trees is a joint venture between Swiss cement maker LafargeHolcim and the United Kingdom’s development finance institution, the CDC Group. The project aims to quickly construct affordable housing and schools in African countries like Malawi, which has a shortfall of 36,000 classrooms according to the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Malawi’s 3d printed school deserves a whole lot of recognition. Most students are happy with the changes to their education. This type of teaching and learning proves extremely beneficial because 3D printing allows educators to design rich learning experiences for deep theoretical constructs that bring learning from computer screens into students’ hands.