After completing 4 years of school in Malawi, most children tend to drop out and over 70% emerge illiterate. Since 2007, CharChar has provided 50,000 Malawian children with access to quality education, helping to reduce high drop-out rates in Primary School. We work with 10 public primary schools to improve the literacy levels of more than 4,000 children and ensure they have the skills needed to complete formal education. These schools have provided an evidence-based case for national scale-up.
Many children spend several years in school and still do not develop basic English literacy skills. 1st and 2nd year students attend overflowing classes of 130 students per teacher on avg, sitting on cold concrete floors and often under a tree in an open-air class, without textbooks. When parents see that their children are not progressing and they themselves have not received an education, they allow their children to drop-out of school to find casual work or stay at home to do household chores
We have partnered with the lead Teacher Training College in Lilongwe as the first stage in scaling-up our child-centred teaching programme to colleges. We will initially train 100 Malawian student teachers in active child-centred phonics teaching and impact the literacy skills of over 300 children in just one year, reaching more than 2,000 in the 2nd year. CharChar-supported learners proved to retain 34 letter names and sounds after just 1 year, compared to 8 at the national level after 2 years
By focusing on English literacy acquisition, we will enable children to successfully progress through the grades. This will increase their chances to succeed and complete primary school, where English is the medium of instruction from Grade 5. To support the increase of primary school completion rates, we will work together with government to scale-up and make our teaching practices available to all Teacher Training Colleges, in order to reach all 5,700 primary schools in Malawi.