There are many school drop-outs and illiterates in Malawi. This is because school classes are overcrowded and the targeted support of individual pupils is hardly possible. A pilot project has been launched to change the educational situation in Malawi - with the help of tablet computers. KfW Development Bank will join the project in 2018.
Sithembile Naming'ona is a primary school teacher in Lilongwe and is happy that her pupils are encouraged and motivated through the use of tablets.
”At my primary school in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, we have 968 pupils and 19 teachers. There are often more than 80 children in our classrooms, sometimes 120 and in some schools in Malawi even up to 250, so it is of course difficult for the children to concentrate or for us to specifically support individual pupils.
But we are lucky. Since 2013 we have been part of the project "Unlocking Talent through Technology in Malawi": A learning centre has been set up in our school – with 30 tablet computers on which pupils can work independently. Since then we divide them into groups and send them to the learning centre every day. There, each child has the tablet to himself for half an hour a day. The digital teacher asks questions – in our language Chichewa – and the pupils answers them. The examples in the exercises are also adapted to our living conditions.
The children are doing well! Above all, however, they learn at their own speed, which would hardly be possible in large classes. In normal lessons we can observe later that the children participate much better. Some contents are already known to them and they can repeat and apply them. The pupils are motivated and enjoy coming to school because they come along better. Sometimes even pupils from other schools come by who would like to learn on the computer themselves.
Followed up on 8 September 2020
KfW Development Bank is funding the project with a total of 13 million euros. By 2023, the construction of up to 178 learning centers (one per school) and the purchase of solar cells and tablets will be financed. Up to 156,000 students will benefit.
The described project contributes to the following United Nationsʼ Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 4: Quality education
Refusing people access to education means depriving them of a basic human right – and of important development prospects for individuals and society. Education enables people to improve their political, social, cultural, and economic situations. Worldwide, 58 million children and 63 million young people still do not have access to primary and secondary schools. 90 per cent of all children with a disability never go to school. 781 million people are illiterate. 7.5 million people with functional illiteracy live in Germany alone.
All United Nations member states adopted the 2030 Agenda in 2015. At its heart is a list of 17 goals for sustainable development, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our world should become a place where people are able to live in peace with each other in ways that are ecologically compatible, socially just, and economically effective.
Published on KfW Stories: 5 June 2018, last updated: 8 September 2020.