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The Sites

Malawi


national expansion across Malawi

We are scaling to serve 3.5mm children per year in all government-run primary schools

Under the BEFIT program, we are working with the Malawi Ministry of Education and partners onebillion and VSO, among others, to serve all students in Standards 1-4 across all 5,770 public primary schools in Malawi. The program utilizes existing government resources, is aligned with the national curriculum, and is embedded within school timetables. 

In-school sites in Lilongwe

We serve children at two government-run primary schools

We’re finding out whether children can attain reading fluency and comparable numeracy skills with 40 minutes of daily use of the tablet-based curriculum for 1-2 school years. This research is fueling our work with government and implementation partners to scale this program countrywide.

Informal School and Out-of-school sites in Dzaleka

We serve children enrolled at Integrity Church School and takenoLAB

We’re learning what types of implementation and delivery will enable children to achieve significant learning gains in informal and out-of-school settings.

Home-based intervention in Lilongwe

We serve 700 low-income households with primary age children affected by school closures due to COVID-19

We’re learning about the key drivers of and barriers to the use of tablets in a home setting.

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Integrity Church School

Serving 5-8 year-olds in an informal school

  • Location: Dzaleka Refugee Camp
  • Curriculum and Language of Instruction: Math (in English)
  • Research Focus: Can young children whose first language is not English achieve significant math gains over those resulting from standard instruction when using a digital learning program in English?
  • Type of Study: Initial implementation study followed by a proof-of-concept randomized controlled trial
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takenoLAB

Serving 6-12 year-olds in a community center

  • Location: Dzaleka Refugee Camp
  • Curriculum and Language of Instruction: Math and Literacy (in English)
  • Research Focus: What implementation model best serves out-of-school children?
  • Type of Study: Short-term implementation studies
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GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS (Unlocking Talent)

Serving second graders in public schools

  • Location: Two Government Primary Schools, Lilongwe
  • Curriculum and Language of Instruction: Math and Literacy (in Chichewa)
  • Research Focus: Can children attain reading fluency with comprehension and comparable numeracy skills with 40 minutes of daily use of the tablet-based learning curriculum for 1-2 school years? How much time does it take for children to attain these learning goals?
  • Type of Study: Long-term, randomized controlled trial and a supplemental qualitative study of struggling learners
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MALAWI HOME-BASED INTERVENTION

Serving 700 low-income households with primary age children affected by school closures due to COVID-19

  • Location: Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Curriculum and Language of Instruction: Chichewa
  • Research Focus: To understand parent and child experiences of the program and key drivers of and barriers to use of the tablets in a home setting.
  • Type of Study: Rapid-cycle research involving repeated phone interviews
The Faces of Malawi
State of Education in Malawi

Malawi’s 3.5 million young children are packed into just 5,300 primary schools.

Since the introduction of free primary education in 1994, Malawi’s education system struggles with overcrowding in classrooms, lack of learning materials, shortage of trained teachers, and high student-to-teacher ratios.

Population: 18 million

Number of early grade children: 3.5 million

Official student to teacher ratio: 70:1

Primary school completion rate: 79%

Minimum reading proficiency achieved by the end of primary: 24%

Official literacy rate: 62%

Impact

Our 2-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) (conducted 2019-2021) in Malawi demonstrated approximately 4.2 months of additional learning in literacy and 3.6 months of additional learning in math (added values of 32% and 28% respectively) after 13 months of tablet use and despite COVID-related school closures. Imagine’s research has demonstrated additional important benefits including increased attendance in school, higher engagement in class, and greater confidence in learning and girls benefited at least as much as boys in contrast to standard classroom practice.

For the full research brief, click here. This model has already been successfully implemented in over 250 schools across Malawi since 2014, serving 225,000 children via the Unlocking Talent program.

Our Malawi Site Partners

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
Malawi
Implementation
onebillion
Burkina Faso Ghana Malawi Sierra Leone Tanzania
Software
University of Malawi, Chancellor College
Malawi
Research