The Strengthening the Teaching of Primary School Mathematics in Malawi program aims to improve student learning outcomes in mathematics, so girls and boys have a solid foundation in basic skills to succeed in the rest of their schooling and fulfil their potential. By the end of the program, FCDO hopes to contribute towards improved service delivery, so more girls and boys—especially from disadvantaged backgrounds—progress through and complete primary school with measurable improvements in their learning outcomes. The Strengthening the Teaching of Primary School Mathematics in Malawi program is currently in its pilot phase, which serves two key purposes. First, it allows program teams to identify modifications needed before the intervention is scaled up; and second, it allows the project to collect evidence to motivate the teams, teachers, and the wider education sector in Malawi by documenting the impact on student learning during the pilot phase and anticipating the impact of the reform at scale.
STS will work closely with the Malawi Institute of Education and experts from the Centre for Educational Research and Training to design and implement the evaluation of the pilot. The evaluation will focus on:
- Materials developed in terms of their accessibility and take up by teachers and students;
- The efficacy and feasibility of the proposed teacher training model;
- The likelihood of effective classroom implementation; and
- The impact on student learning.
STS will produce reports throughout the pilot using data from quantitative and qualitative components. The former measures the impact of the reform on student performance using a modified Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA). For the qualitative components, STS will develop and use a range of observation tools, questionnaires, and other survey instruments that will measure progress against key indicators for each component. The resulting report will outline lessons learned from the pilot and include recommendations on modifications needed before the reform is taken to scale.