Although Malawi is one of the world’s most-densely populated countries, the land-locked nation is also one of the least-developed countries in the world. The majority of the population subsists on an agrarian economy, and thus many children begin work immediately after primary school. School attendance rates and youth literary, however, have increased thanks to improvements in infrastructure such as Architecture for a Change’s recently completed project.
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The primary school’s defining feature is its eye-catching and elevated steel canopy that provides shade and promotes airflow throughout the building. The roof is also angled to drain rainwater into collection tanks. The building facade is constructed partly from shipping containers and partly from local materials, such as the brick walls and bamboo ceilings, which help soften the appearance of the school. Select classroom walls are covered by shade netting, which can be lifted or lowered to provide privacy without compromising cross-ventilation. Electricity in the school is powered by solar energy.
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