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The Sites


Our Current Work

National expansion across Malawi

Under the BEFIT program, we are working with the Malawi Ministry of Education and partners onebillion and VSO, among others, to eventually serve 3.5mm children per year in Standards 1-4 across all 5,770 public primary schools in Malawi. The program uses existing government resources, is aligned with the national curriculum, and is embedded within school timetables. Launching September 2023.

We’re currently serving Standard 2 children at four schools where we previously conducted efficacy research, as well as serving children at a community-supported school and a youth center in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

Government Partners

  • Malawi Ministry of Education

Lilongwe, Malawi

We serve children at four government-run primary schools

Implementation Partner:

Current Students:

Current Sites:


Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Camp, Dowa, Malawi

Dzaleka Refugee Camp
We serve children at multiple community-supported sites in the camp

Implementation Partner:
Integrity Family Church

Current Students:

Malawi Impact At a Glance

Children Served


Program Sites


Tablets Distributed


Hours on Tablet


Early Pilots and Evidence-Building in Malawi

We have conducted several efficacy research studies to understand learning gains in literacy and numeracy due to use of the tablets over different lengths of time, and in different contexts. This research contributed to the Malawi government’s decision to scale the program countrywide. We are grateful to these communities for collaborating with us on the previous research.

Community-supported school

We served 5-8 year-olds in an informal school

  • Location: Dzaleka Refugee Camp
  • Curriculum and Language of Instruction: Math and Literacy (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
Youth Center

We served 6-12 year-olds in a youth center

  • Location: Dzaleka Refugee Camp
  • Curriculum and Language of Instruction: Math and Literacy (in English)
  • Research Focus: How well did out-of-school children whose first language was not English respond to the tablet program in English?
  • Type of Study: Short term implementation studies

We served second graders in public schools

  • Location:  Four Government Primary Schools, Lilongwe
  • Curriculum and Language of Instruction: Math and Literacy (in Chichewa)
  • Research Focus: How much do children gain in critical literacy and math skills after using the tablet-based learning curriculum for different lengths of time (5 months to 2 school years)?
  • Type of Study: Randomized controlled trials over 5 months, 1 year, and 2 years

We served 700 low-income households with primary-age children during school closures due to COVID-19

  • Location: Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Curriculum and Language of Instruction: Math and Literacy (in 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
Research Results

Imagine’s research has demonstrated additional important benefits including increased attendance in school

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. Higher engagement in class, and greater confidence in learning and girls benefited at least as much as boys in contrast to standard classroom practice.

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

Download Brief

State of Education in Malawi

Malawi’s 3.5 million young children are packed into just 5,770 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%

Malawi Partners
Holistic Focus for the Marginalized
Burkina Faso Ghana Liberia Malawi Senegal Sierra Leone Tanzania
Salama Africa
University of Malawi, Chancellor College
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)