Malawi government, through the Ministry of Education, has launched a £19.3 million National Numeracy Programme aimed at improving education outcomes in the early stages of schooling for all children in the country.
The programme, particularly, seeks to improve student learning outcomes in mathematics in standards 1 to 4, so that girls and boys have a solid foundation in the basic skills needed to succeed in the rest of their schooling and thereby realising their full potential.
The program, according to the Ministry, will strengthening the teaching mathematics in Primary Schools across the country.
Speaking when she launched the programme at the Malawi Institute of Education in Domasi, Zomba, Minister Education, Agnes NyaLonje described education as a building block for the country’s economic growth and prosperity.
“Malawi 2063 clearly stipulates that we cannot achieve anything if our human capital is not educated and skilled enough.
“Therefore, improving education outcomes in the early stages of schooling, for all our children, is one of the priorities for the Government of Malawi,” said NyaLonje.
She further asserted international learning assessments indicate that learners in the Malawian education system produce some of the lowest education outcomes in the region with more than 90 per cent of learners in standard 6 performing at or below the basic numeracy level.
“We need to fix this. Having a strong foundation in mathematics enhances children’s life chances and it is vitally important for young children’s present and future success at school across a wide range of subjects,” she emphasized.
NyaLonje said they will further develop new materials for teachers and learners and then to train teachers to use them for the betterment of the Malawian child.
She said materials will be piloted in 204 schools next year and thereafter, informed by the findings of the pilot activity, implementers shall refine the programme before rolling it out in all schools during the 2022/23 school year.
She further claimed that her ministry is committed to ensuring that the program is a success and equally ready to resolve any challenges that may impede the successful implementation of the program.
She therefore urged the technical experts of the program to be flexible in listening to suggestions made by the primary school teachers that best understand the context in which the program is being rolled out.
“The future of our learners and the prosperity of our nation is in your hands. I am optimistic that through this program we will improve learning outcomes in primary school mathematics and lift our nation to greater heights,” NyaLonje said.