Mchinji District, Malawi – 7-year-old Sheila Benard is a star in her village. She is one of the numerous living testimonies that Literacy and Numeracy Boost Centres work and are beneficial. She attends a centre established by CRECCOM, an implementing partner of the ECLT Foundation in Malawi, at Tsekwe Primary School in Kapiri Village.
Literacy and Numeracy Boost Centres strengthen education
As outlined in ECLT’s Good Practice Manual, Literacy and Numeracy Boost Centres strengthen teaching methodologies, create appropriate learning materials from local resources, and increase parental and community support for reading and numeracy. Trained community volunteers support teachers by facilitating after-school lessons and reading camps. Each facilitator can assist fewer kids than in a classroom setting, and use games to help students. Parents also support their children’s learning by creating reading corners or using locally available materials for children to practice writing and mathematics.
Reading at seven years old!
Sheila started school at age six and learned to read within one year. Many children in her village – Sheila’s older sister Agnes, for example – do the same in five years. The centre’s fun and personalised approach helped Sheila read and sharpen her numerical skills at quite an early age. This shows how important Literacy and Numeracy Boost Centres can be for improving students’ literacy and numeracy skills.
When asked to comment on the centres, Head Teacher for Tsekwe Primary School, Mr. Chibwe, said, “Not only have the centres sharpened literacy and numerical skills, they have stimulated the students’ zeal for learning. As learners do well, they get motivated to do more and to do well in class. These centres have also simplified work for teachers, as facilitators make learners revise and work on the things they don’t do well on in class.”
Reducing child labour
When children attend activities offered through the centre, they spend more time at school. They invest in their future while also avoiding staying at home, where they could likely become involved in field work. Literacy and Numeracy Boost Centres are therefore a good means for preventing children from different forms of abuse, including child labour.
Read more about this good practice in ECLT’s Good Practice Manual.