In January, music’s reigning icon Rihanna visited a school in Malawi to learn about the educational challenges facing students there. Besides singing some of the most popular music on the planet, Rihanna is also an avowed humanitarian and the founder of the Clara Lionel Foundation, which has partnered with Global Citizen and the Global Partnership for Education to advocate for improving access to education for some of the world’s poorest students.
During her visit to Malawi, Rihanna took a turn at the blackboard teaching math, reading with kids, and leading chants on the playground. A small percentage of students in Malawi manage to complete secondary school, according to Rihanna’s organization.
“It’s such a pity that they have to drop out, because they are so smart,” she says in the video shared by Global Citizen. “Everybody’s learning together, and learning at the same pace it seems. It’s sad that has to end for some of them, because they could probably do so much if they had the resources to continue and complete.”
The experience was well-suited to the pop star’s skill set.
“I love that they learn in melody, that’s like my favorite thing,” Rihanna notes about her experience in the classrooms. “Because kids, they adopt melody really, really quickly. And so if you can use that as a learning tool, I think that’s the most brilliant, brilliant thing.”
The goal of Rihanna’s visit was to help convince world leaders to commit $3.1 billion to funding the Global Partnership for Education, which works with education ministries in 89 countries to help them improve the quality of schooling for as many as 800 million children, according to the Global Citizen website.
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