Distribution Malawi

October, 2022

The first distribution of workbooks with bulky paper in Malawi

On Monday afternoon, the first container arrived in the packing warehouse in Lilongwe. The containers are filled with mathematic workbooks and teacher guides for grades one to four for the FCDO-funded National Numeracy Programme. The 30 trained Malawian logistics employees are in the starting blocks for the packing of the books per school. An assembly line system has been created for efficient and effective packing. People count the books per grade, another person collects the books and another person verifies the number of books, closes the box, and adds the label. On Wednesday morning the first truck left the warehouse to distribute the books to schools in Lilongwe City and Lilongwe Rural East.

National Numeracy Project Malawi

Technical Specifications workbooks

The technical specifications of the workbooks that are now being distributed for the FCDO-funded National Numeracy Project are unique, and designed according to the environment in which the books will be used.

Bulky paper

This is the first time worldwide that workbooks with bulky paper will be distributed and used in schools. Bulky paper is a recent innovation in the paper industry, as an alternative to uncoated woodfree offset paper, which is usually used for the production of workbooks and textbooks. What makes bulky paper unique is the ratio between the weight and the thickness, the thickness of bulky paper is 1.5 times higher than uncoated woodfree paper of the same weight. Books with bulky paper of the same thickness will weigh lighter than books with woodfree uncoated paper.

This feature reduces the cost of the production of the paper, and the cost of transportation and distribution, as the total weight of the book will be lower. Paper is scarce around the world, and the price of paper continues to rise drastically. 70 gsm uncoated woodfree paper is currently 1500$/To, while 55-gram bulky paper is 960$/To, making bulky paper 30% cheaper.

National Numeracy Programme Books

Kraft paper cover and four stitches

Another singular feature of the workbooks is that kraft paper is used for the cover page, as an alternative to 250 gsm coated two sides paper. During the pilot phase of the National Numeracy Programme it was observed that the covers started to come off quickly, as the students were folding the books and using them on their knees; an alternative had to be found. The covers used in the pilot phase were too stiff and not strong enough to be folded. Kraft paper is a great alternative as the paper is strong and sturdy and can be folded easily. The workbooks are also being stitched with four stitches instead of just two, to make the cover stronger.

National Numeracy Programme

The National Numeracy Programme is a Government of Malawi Programme, led by the Ministry of Education, implemented by Mott MacDonald/Cambridge Education and funded by FCDO. BlueTree Group is honoured to be working together with our partners on this programme to improve learning outcomes in mathematics in lower primary standards in Malawi.

Learn more about the National Numeracy Programme here: https://nnpmalawi.org/ 

Malawi National Numeracy Project

Malawi National Numeracy Project

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Social enterprise in the global book supply chain whose mission is to enhance access to affordable, quality books for children in low-income countries

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