By Solister Mogha – Mana
Malawi education system faces a number of challenges and failure to embrace numeracy lessons in the early education cycle.
Minister of Education, Agnes NyaLonje said this Wednesday launched the National Numeracy Programme (NNP) at Malawi Institute of Education in Zomba with support from UK Aid.
She said the Ministry was among other things seek to strengthen mathematic lessons in the country’s primary schools.
NyaLonje said international learning assessment indicate that learners from Malawian education system produces some of the lowest education outcomes in the region with more than 90 percent in standard six performing below the basic numeracy level.
The Minister said the country required a strong foundation in mathematics as that would enhance pupils’ life and success at school across a wide range of classes.
“The main aim of the programme is to improve learning outcomes in mathematics in standard 1-4 so that girls and boys have solid foundation for basic skills needed to succeed in the rest of their schooling and by so doing, fulfill their potential.
“The next step, which has already started in to develop new materials for teachers and learners and then train teachers on the use for the benefit of a Malawian child,” NyaLonje added.
The K 16 billion programme will target about 3.2 million pupils in all primary schools of the country.
However according to the Minister, the programme would be piloted in 204 schools and the findings of the piloted phase would inform the full rollout of the numeracy programme in all schools in the 2022/23 academic year.
“We need to strongly consider mathematics as our daily language since we encounter it in most of our daily undertakings. I am therefore optimistic that through this programme, we will improve learning on mathematics and lift our nation to greater heights,” she said.
British High Commissioner, David Beer said it was the wish of the British government to see Malawian children performing competitively in numeracy at all levels.’
He said learning from the surveys and experience education system of Malawi lags behind compared to other regions as most of the primary school learners only have basic level of numeracy.
“The British government previously introduced the National Reading Programme which was aimed at improving literacy and we are delighted with the results of that programme. We are today co-launching this numeracy programme so that we improve the foundation of mathematics skills.
“We are looking at how best we can improve the curriculum and quality of teacher and mathematics learning materials. We expect much more progression and learning on foundation of mathematics in all primary schools,” Beer said.
Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) has been tasked to develop the curriculum and produce materials that would help Malawian learners grasp mathematics concept quick.