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BEFIT Program Transforms Attendance and Learning at Namadidi Primary School in Mulanje

The belief that tablets serve not only as educational tools but also as attendance enhancers, captivating young learners and motivating them to eagerly attend classes, is becoming evident at Namadidi Primary School.

Located in Chambe zone in Mulanje district, Namadidi faced a significant challenge before the launch of the BEFIT Program: a low learner attendance rate.

Despite the efforts of dedicated teachers like Mrs. Constance Mphaya, the head teacher, and Mr. Stephano Malizani, the standard 3 class teacher, to encourage attendance through community sensitization meetings and one-on-one discussions with parents, the school struggled to retain students.

“In my standard 3 class, the attendance numbers painted a grim picture, with only 70 to 80 learners consistently attending classes out of a total of 221 (108 boys and 118 girls) in the third term of the 2022/2023 academic year,” Stephano Malizani attested.

“The root cause of this attendance problem laid in our inability to effectively engage students in their learning journey. Traditional methods of instruction failed to capture the interest and enthusiasm of the students, leading many to lose interest in attending school altogether,” added Mrs. Mphaya, the Head Teacher.

The launch of the BEFIT Program at Namadidi marked a turning point. This innovative initiative aimed at improving learning outcomes in reading and numeracy through the supplemental use of individualized, self-paced instruction delivered through specialized apps on Android tablets in standards 1-4 in all public primary schools in Malawi.

“The BEFIT Program has been a game-changer for our school. It's not just about tablets; it's about igniting a passion for learning that transcends the classroom,” expressed Mphaya.

The introduction of tablets as a learning tool has not only transformed the classroom experience but it has also revitalized student involvement. The appeal of interactive learning through technology has motivated learners from all corners of Namadidi to attend school regularly.

“The current enrollment in my standard 3 class is 289 (132 boys and 157 girls), a significant increase from the previous term. Out of these, 100 to 140 learners consistently attend classes on a daily basis. This is a testament to the effectiveness of the BEFIT Program in not only attracting students to school but also keeping them actively engaged in their studies,” shared Mr. Malizani.

The BEFIT Program has not just addressed the issue of low attendance; it has also revolutionized the teaching and learning experience at Namadidi. Teachers have found themselves equipped with powerful tools to deliver personalized instruction tailored to the individual needs of each learner. This shift towards learner-centered learning has fostered a culture of academic excellence and empowerment within the school community.

“The difference in learner attendance rates since the launch of the BEFIT Program is astounding. It's not just about numbers; it's about seeing eager faces ready to absorb knowledge every day,” remarked Mr. Mphaya.

According to Mrs. Mphaya, Namadidi Primary School has become a beacon of educational innovation and achievement in Mulanje district. The once-dwindling attendance numbers have been replaced with a vibrant and bustling learning environment, where every learner has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

To wrap it all up, the BEFIT Program has not only addressed the attendance problem at Namadidi but has also laid the foundation for a brighter future for generations of learners to come. Through the power of technology and innovation, Namadidi Primary School has unlocked the full potential of its learners, paving the way for a new era of educational excellence.



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