At the end of her first year as a Learning Center Coordinator (LCC) at one of Imagine’s school sites in Malawi, Agness Phiri Kamanga wore a wide smile as she led us to the learning center to observe a tablet-based learning session. As the LCC, Agness helps to manage the learning center, where the tablet-based program is delivered. She makes sure that her fellow teacher facilitators and learners are supported. Agness juggles all of this, plus her role as Grade 3 teacher, with grace.
In October, Agness shared reflections on her LCC experience, the benefits for both learners and teachers, and what she is looking forward to in year two.
What influenced you to become a teacher?
APK: I have a passion for imparting knowledge. I am excited to see people benefit from learning new things and I enjoy working with children! I decided to go back to school in 2012 to get my Professional Primary School Teaching Certificate, and I officially joined the civil service as a teacher in April 2016.
How did you feel when you first learned about the Imagine learning program?
APK: Before the program, we didn’t have any types of computers at the school. Initially, I was anxious – what would it be like to facilitate sessions and balance my normal classroom workload with the LCC role? Would learners be able to grasp the concepts from the software and indeed learn? However, I had confidence in myself given my background in ICT and teaching training. I was excited about the potential of the program and to be the first LCC for my school.
What was your experience in the first year?
APK: I had a really good experience. In the first two weeks, I remember learners and teachers were still learning the process. After that, everyone improved. We also experienced good working relationships with all stakeholders. The head teacher and staff at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) were very supportive. I was also glad to learn more about the technology.
What were your observations about learning?
APK: The learners enjoyed the lessons! They were so motivated to attend each lesson. The program really helped improve listening comprehension, which carried over to class outside of the session. The software was able to give children feedback on their learning and helped them improve in Chichewa and Math. I even saw some learners help other learners with technology. I was really happy when Imagine shared the progress and results from the first year – it confirmed that the program was working. The program also helped the teachers.
What are you looking forward to this coming year?
APK: We will have another group of motivated learners who will be able to improve their grades. I am excited to see how they progress through the tablet learning program and how we can more effectively deliver the program. This year, I am also excited about having more interaction with my peers, school leadership, the community, VSO, and researchers so that we can continue to improve learning.