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Celebrating Ben - An Amazing Educator - on World Teachers' Day!

By Allison Kooser

Today on World Teachers' Day, we are celebrating amazing teachers around the world. Teachers like Ben who have transformed communities and are bringing up the next generation of leaders. Teachers who are changing the world.

Ben Navitcha founded and runs the Ben Nevis Private School near Blantyre, Malawi – a huge primary and secondary school compound that teaches 38 nursery school students, 286 primary school students and 571 secondary school students.

His school is beautiful and vibrant and full of giggling students learning and creating bright futures.

But things were not always so easy for Ben.

As a child, he grew up in extreme poverty – his parents were unable to afford to keep him in school and he dropped out after completing 7th grade. Without a high school education, Ben sought any job he could get and ended up working as a bus driver. But he knew that he was destined for more – he was ready to do anything he could to continue his education on his own.

Ben began studying and learning from his wife Emily, who was a teacher herself. He earned his junior certificate, then graduated from teachers training college and began teaching at secondary schools. He continued to further his own education, and soon decided that he had a few strategies of teaching he wanted to try, independent of the existing school system.

In 2003, Ben turned the living room of his house into a small school, welcoming seven students that he taught on his own for free. After the first year of teaching from home, his school began to grow.

Today, Ben employs 37 people, including 9 primary school teachers and 14 secondary school teachers. He makes it a point to know all of his students’ names, and when he walks through the school grounds, kids clamor to walk by his side and hold his hands. He is empowering the next generation of young learners, and Opportunity is proud to partner with him as he achieves his goals.

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