Our goal in Malawi is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to get the digital skills they need to make the most of the digital world. Through our project we want to enable Malawian schools to make sure their students are digitally literate, their teachers have the skills and resources to make this happen.
We have started tackling this goal in the Northern Region alongside our partner organisation, the Centre for Youth and Development. We hope to expand our Malawi project to cover the Central and Southern Regions,supporting 80% of schools in Malawi by 2023.
How do we work in Malawi?
We have a three-fold approach in Malawi:
- Creating IT labs in schools with donated IT equipment. Each school receives around 20 PCs which are loaded with our offline e-library software.
- Supplying maintenance and training to schools. Over a 3 year period we monitor and support schools to ensure they gain the skills they will need to continue benefiting from our intervention long after we’re gone.
- Providing training for teachers and headteachers on how to use e-learning resources in lessons, PC maintenance and troubleshooting, and how to get the most from our e-library.
One of the most important parts of our work in Malawi is the maintenance contracts we provide to schools. Each school we work with signs up to a maintenance contract. These run from term to term and are designed to be easily affordable for schools. These contracts are important for a number of reasons:
- They encourage local buy-in meaning that the schools and communities are more likely to positively adopt our work and invest time in using the PCs.
- They remove the huge upfront cost to schools looking to buy PCs. Even secondhand PCs are out of reach for most schools. Signing up to our maintenance contracts means that the cost is spread across at least a term and throughout this period the school receives support from our team.
- Throughout the contracts we provide schools with training on computer maintenance which builds their capacity to provide IT-supported learning once we’re gone.
- We also provide training to teachers on how to engage with digital technology in the classroom throughout the maintenance contracts. This makes teaching easier and helps students build their digital skills outside of computer studies classes.
Our Partnership Approach
Partnership is the foundation of our work in Malawi. We work closely with the Centre for Youth and Development, a local Malawian organisation, to strengthen our approach and enhance our impact. Our experience of delivering IT to schools and their local knowledge means our work is specific to Malawi, flexible and can easily be adapted to local needs.
We believe that by working with local organisations we will not only have a bigger and more positive impact, but we’ll also build our own ability to make our work as relevant to the needs of our schools as possible.
Want to support a school in Malawi?