Harnessing Education Technology Research Seminar Lessons and best practices from Malawi
GCE has convened members from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, and Zambia) for a two-day seminar on Harnessing Education Technology as a Response to COVID-19 in Johannesburg, South Africa (27- 28 September 2022).
GCE is happy to share with you the following reflective lessons from Malawi:
Lessons and best practices from Malawi
Presented by Benedicto Kondowe, National Coordinator of Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC)
In the context of Malawi, there are notable efforts made by the government and other education partners to promote the use of EduTech in schools. To roll out eduTech in the country, varying EduTech models are used with high-quality standard equipment. The various practices used include;
- Basic technologies which are predominantly one-way communication with no in-built assessment tools, such as radio programmes, virtual libraries, and WhatsApp lessons;
- Intermediate technologies which are characterised by the use of interactive learning management systems with actual lessons, both live and recorded, such as Google Classroom, Zoom, MS Teams, and other applications;
- Advanced technologies which include both elements of basic and intermediate technologies, such as the provision of virtual laboratories and graphic-aided lessons.
The Unlocking Talent Programme implemented nationally by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) was the key mechanism to driving the adoption of EduTech, supporting 150,000 learners and targeting to reach 241,200 by 2023. Through this intervention, learners accessed numeracy and literacy online lessons from an application through the use of tablets in a variety of ways. These were delivered in small groups of 30 at a time in their own classroom, use of tablets by half of the class while the other half were taught by their teacher in the same room, and all learners access the tablets at the same time in their classroom using headset splitters and sharing a tablet. However, coverage remained a challenge because of the cost of gadgets, inadequate ICT skills in schools and poor data or internet connection that affected the effective delivery of the intervention.
CSEC’s intervention and results
Within the framework of GCE’s Harnessing Education Technology project, CSEC-Malawi assessed the best models for designing and implementing Edu-Tech in primary schools in Malawi. The study also focused on identifying positive lessons learned and identifying Edu-Tech models that can be adapted or scaled up. Using the lessons learned from the study, the national coalition developed and rolled out a pilot intervention in Lilongwe and Mzimba districts to digitalise the curriculum and lessons in a user-friendly and easily accessible technological format for junior primary school pupils.
The intervention adopted a Projector Model Approach, which was ideal for learning in bigger classrooms with limited equipment and learning materials. In this approach, digital lessons are projected on bigger screens for the whole classroom. For sustainability, CSEC is engaging with the Ministry of Education to adopt the basis and less cost-effective model in the short term to expand access. In addition, CSEC advocates for the inclusivity of technology models that cater to all learners. CSEC is also advocating for more significant investment in edutech by governments and cooperating partners.
View Day Two in pictures HERE.
Watch Day Two Sessions HERE.