MoEST Takes Over Tikwere Radio Programme
Tikwere is aired on Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC) during school days whereby teachers impart standards 1, 2, 3, and 4 pupils with knowledge and skills in English, Mathematics, Chichewa and Life skills through instructions from a well-played radio lesson session.
MoEST through Malawi College of Distance Education (MCDE), the pioneer of Open and Distance Learing (ODL) has taken over its funding and programming from Education Development Centre (EDC) of USIAD.
To mark the celebration of Tikwere’s five years existence since its inception in 2007, MoEST officials who include Primary Education Advisors (PEAs), head teachers, teachers, tutors, Division Education Managers (DEMs), Teachers Training College (TTCs) Principals, communities, and pupils gathered at Lilongwe Demonstration Primary School to share experiences and highlight accomplishments of the programme.
Speaking during the hand over ceremony of the programme, the Director and Chairperson of Education Development Partners for USAID in Malawi, Christine Djando said she was delighted with Tikwere’s achievements as teacher and learners’ interaction has been enhenced.
“Through Tikwere, teachers’ motivation, classrooms management and creative use of teaching resources while lesson are in session have been improved hence learners have gained 14.6%, 16.84% and 9% scores in numeracy, English and Chichewa readings respectively”, delighted Djando.
Djando however bemoaned insufficient of qualified pupil-teacher ratios, classrooms, and supply of teaching and learning materials.
“The questions that we should all strive to answer are; Does Tikwere help Malawian Children enrolled in primary school learn?Are Tikwere innovations cost effective in delivering national primary school curriculum in the current envirinment?What should be done to institutionalize Tikwere as a function that the Malawi government should facilitate and provide this service to learners?”, asks Djando.
In her remarks, the Project Director of Education Development Center (EDC) in Washington, Carrie Lewis assured Malawians of the continuity of the programm despite USAID’s funding pull-out as sustainability plan was in place.
“We are very sad that USAID won’t fund Tikwere’s programs. However, Malawi government through MoEST and USAID developed a sustainablity Plan that Malawian children must continue benefiting from Tikwere services”, assures Lewis.
Tikwere’s Chief of Party in Malawi’s EDC, Augustine Kamlongera concured with Lewis’s assurances that the programme is to go ahead since right mechanisms were developed during early stages of its implementation.
“ We have been running the program together with USAID such that expertees, resources are at our desposal hence its sustability wont be compromised”, concurs Dr Kamlongera.
Thus, the Coordinator and Tutor of Central Specialization in the MoEST, Masauko Nkolokosa was also optimistic that the initaitive would continue bearing fruits based on the funding the ministry has allocated to the programm in the 2012/2013 National Budget.
“If you can remember very well, Tikwere was run by MDCE in the past before USAID revived it with funding. Thus, with the sustainabilty plan and some funds allocated to it in the 2012/2013 National Budget, Malawian children will continue enjoying Tikwere. So, don’t panic”, assures Nkolokosa.
Tikwere is a primary education project that produces daily interactive radio broadcasts to standards 1, 2, 3, and 4 across Malawi. The programs use music, games, drama, and interactive learning activities to support the Ministry of Education’s curriculum.
Over 80% of Malawian classrooms such that approximately 17,000 teachers and 2,600,000 listern to the program.Tikwere has revised standards 1 and 2 to reflect the new primary curriculum in concert with Education Ministry.
The program also supports teacher trainees and practicing teaches as we as piloting programs for complementary Basic Education which allows children and youth that dropped out of the formal education system to complete standard 1 and 2 combined in one year.