Impact story

Reducing school dropout rates in Malawi and Lesotho

Cover photo: Malawi. Children studying in class. © Giacomo Pirozzi /Panos Pictures.

‘School in a bag’, buddy systems and catch-up clubs have paved the way for improved learning and reduced dropout in schools in Malawi and Lesotho. These pioneering techniques have been used by researchers from University College London’s Institute of Education and their Southern African partners to help ensure that disadvantaged children, particularly those affected by HIV/ AIDS, stay in school. 

Features the project Strengthening ODFL systems to increase education access and attainment for young people in high HIV prevalence SADC countries which is funded by the ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research and is led by Principal Investigator Professor Pat Pridmore and Chris Yates, University College London’s Institute of Education, team statistician Matthew Jukes, Harvard University, Ephraim Mhlanga, South African Institute for Distance Education and in collaboration with the incountry researchers Catherine Jere, the University of Malawi and the National University of Lesotho.

Focus projects: 

ODFL techniques used in a primary school in Malawi
This study aims to increase access to education and learning for young people living in high HIV prevalence areas in Malawi and Lesotho, by developing a new, more flexible model of education that uses open, distance and flexible learning to complement and enrich schooling.