Malawi to roll out ICT backed adult literacy information system

The Government of Malawi is set to roll out an Adult Learning and Education Management Information System (ALEMIS) following a donation of ICT equipment worth K24 million from DVV International.

Principal Secretary (PS) for Administration in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Isaac Katopola, said this on Wednesday in Lilongwe when he received the ICT equipment, which
include, among others, 65 tablets, several desktop computers and printers.

Harrington handing over equipment to Katopola

DVV International—a German organization—handed over the ICT equipment in order to help promote Management Information System (MIS) for Adult Learning and Education (ALE) and Integrated Adult Education (IAE) in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare.

This means government will now start collecting ALE related data electronically, unlike in the past when it was doing the exercise physically.

Part of the audience during handover

The development will also ensure that data consistently and quickly reach the National Centre for Literacy and Adult Education (NACLAE)—a division in the department of Community Development, where the ALE
data is analysed and used to monitor, strengthen and improve programmes.

Katopola described ALEMIS as a milestone in the ALE sector.

“This online platform will improve timely transmission and ensure that credible data is available for improved programming in the Adult Literacy/Learning and Education sector. It is also one way of operationalizing the NALEP 2021 and NALE strategy about to be approved. I thank DVV International for this support,” Katopola said.

The ICT equipment is reportedly going to be specifically used in Mchinji, Lilongwe and Ntcheu districts to pilot the newly developed ALEMIS for monitoring and evaluation of the ALE sector and also in Mchinji and Nkhotakota districts to pilot an Integrated Adult Education approach to adult literacy and education delivery.

DVV International Regional Director for Southern Africa, David Harrington, said ALEMIS and the ICT equipment will help the adult education sector to create a Malawi where all people are able to read and write and possess the knowledge and skills they need for personal, community and national development.

“Adult education is usually referred to under Sustainable Development Goal Number 4 – the education goal. However, adult education is fundamental to the achievement of all of the SDGs. In order to tackle hunger and food sovereignty, health issues, gender issues, meaningful jobs and every other SDG, we need adult education.

Adult education is far more than simply learning to read, write or do arithmetic. These are essential foundational building blocks which allow us to engage with all of the other areas of knowledge and skills that enable us to navigate through life and earn a living. Without them, we will struggle to get ahead in life, and personal, community and national development will remain elusive,” Harrington said.

He also bemoaned poor funding towards ALE in Malawi, calling upon various stakeholders to lobby and advocate for increased funding to the sector.

DVV International has been supporting the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare since 2017 when it opened its doors in Malawi, having previously provided similar support to Mozambican and South African governments.

The previous DVV International’s support to Malawi include, among others, procurement of ICT equipment for administrative purposes at NACLAE, procurement of over 60,000 adult literacy Chuma ndi moyo
primers which were distributed to the 9,633 National Adult Literacy Programme classes, development of the first ever National Adult Literacy Policy which was approved by Cabinet in February 2020 and the
development of the National Adult Literacy and Education Strategy currently pending approval by the ministry’s management.

Wednesday’s ICT donation reportedly comes on top of over K40 million investments in ALEMIS, which included hiring of the consultant to develop the MIS and training of community development staff from
district level on how they can use MIS.

DVV International, which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has pledged to continue supporting the government of Malawi.

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