NNP Malawi

April, 2022

Highlights National Numeracy Project Malawi

Preparations for Term 2 of the NNP pilot almost completed.

Learners and teachers from 200 schools in 19 zones across Malawi have successfully completed the first term of the year-long pilot phase of the NNP, and teacher training for Term 2 is almost completed. During the pilot, teachers take part in a 5-day workshop at the start of each term. Before each training of teachers begins, 33 Master Trainers are trained, who then train a team of 163 Trainers. The Trainers then train almost 2,000 teachers. Cecilia Nyasulu is a teacher at Chibavi Primary School and one of the Master Trainers. She explained that in Term 2, new topics are being introduced: Space and Shape (Geometry), and Patterns. Cecilia and the other Master Trainers are taking a keen interest in the role: “I am looking forward to the session when participants role-play teacher-led classroom activities. This informs us if we have done a good job and helps us iron out any problems.”

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Cecilia Nyansulu discussing 2D shapes with Phoebe Paundi, an NNP trainer from Chantabme School, Dzenza, Lilongwe 

Senior government officials visit NNP pilot schools.

On February 15th, members of the NNP National Steering Committee met to review progress and plans for the remainder of the pilot phase. Before the meeting started, they visited Mtenthera and Kapatamoyo Primary schools (in Chigudu Zone, Dowa district) to see the NNP methodology and materials for lower primary Standards 1-4 being used by teachers and learners. In a Standard 2 class, visitors observed learners practice counting in tens with their teacher, Alinane Linje. Speaking at the end of the lesson, Linje said, “I felt encouraged today. The Ministry delegates saw our efforts for themselves. I was also pleased to get their feedback because it helps me improve my teaching,” In a debrief after the school visits, Dr. Denis Khasu, the Principal at Nalikule College described the learner workbooks as ‘a great inspiration’ but cautioned the NNP to check the amount of work on a page, and to provide guidance to teachers about marking. The NNP has taken note of the feedback provided and looks forward to reporting on progress to senior stakeholders at the next meeting.

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The Principal, Naliku College, sharing feedback after the school visit. 

Learning from the pre-pilot activity

Changes to the academic calendar provided the NNP with an opportunity to do some early piloting of the new teaching and learning materials by means of a 3-month pre-pilot activity at the end of 2021. The pre-pilot activity was conducted at the schools of the teachers who are in the Writing Team. To learn from this activity, a team of MoE observers visited 227 classrooms in 24 schools. One observation was that the workbook covers were starting to come off the Learner Workbooks and that the books were too big for learners to fit into their bags. Mavuto Chiwale, the NNP Materials Development Coordinator, explained what happened next: “We reduced the size of the books, changed the material used for the covers and strengthened the assembly of the books.”  At the end of Term 1 of the pilot, it appears as if the changes made to the learner books have made the difference needed. The workbooks are easier for children to use, and the covers are not coming off as before. Changes were also made to the materials for teachers. Based on recommendations from the NNP Writing Team, a new section was added to the Teacher Guide titled: “Developing a Number, Operations and Relationships lesson and work scheme” and a separate lesson plan book has been developed to help teachers with lesson planning and completing work schemes.

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Standard 4 learners at Kalinyeke Primary School in Dedza district display their mathematics NNP books. 

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