We talk a lot about our School Performance Review process, and how it creates sustainable change for schools. But have you ever wondered what it actually looks like in practice? Take a peek in detail at a school in Malawi with us to find out more:
Three years ago, this rural school in Mchinji district was struggling with a high pupil to teacher ratio (1 teacher to 88 pupils) and poor teaching quality, and was found to be below the minimum standard against many of the National Education Standards for good quality education.
Link supported local officials to undertake a school review. We worked with every level of the school system to help advise on how the school could improve, and together with school inspectors, teachers, and the community supported the creation of a school improvement plan. This plan made several recommendations for how the school could improve against the National Education Standards.
Three years later, in September 2018, the school was inspected again, and great progress was made. The school report card went from 66% of standards being assessed as below minimum to just 16%. Despite an increase of over 200 learners, the teacher pupil ratio had also improved, with 19 fewer pupils per teacher.
So, how did we do it?
- The headteacher received training on the National Education Standards, and was able to share this training with his staff. Combined with our innovative school management simulation training, this led to greatly improved teaching quality in the school.
- The teachers told us they had revised teaching practices leading to learners being more focused, and reading performance improving.
- Attendance at the school improved, and drop-out rates fell due to increased community support and better teaching. Young mothers were able to return to school for the first time.
- Additional latrines and a girls' changing area were built to ensure girls had a safe place at the school to manage their period.
- Improved relationships between parents and teachers from their shared involvement in the school improvement planning process supported learners to get the most out of classes.
This review cycle will repeat again, and with each new inspection the school will be able to set targets for improvement and build on past successes to give the children the best possible education. This way, every school in the district benefits from a stronger system, and is empowered by sustainable, community-led change.