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Unlocking Talent Through Technology Malawi

Accelerating child literacy and numeracy through technology

Class sizes in Malawi’s schools often exceed 100 pupils. Even the most qualified teachers struggle to deliver structured, engaging lessons covering everyone's learning style.

Now, 55,000 children are benefitting from VSO's Unlocking Talent project that provides:

  • Tablet computers powered by solar panels
  • Bespoke local-language apps for numeracy, literacy and English learning in line with the Malawian curriculum.
  • 'Oneclass' learning centres where children receive half an hour of interactive tuition per day
  • Teacher training to manage the project, use the technology, and track progress

On 14 April 2017 Malawi’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology agreed to take ownership of the project and integrate it as a teaching and learning approach into the National Education Policy Framework.

VSO's Unlocking Talent project featured on the BBC's Click programme

Accelerated learning

randomised control trial by Nottingham University showed children on the 'Unlocking Talent' project take just eight weeks to make the same amount of progress that usually takes a year of 'business as usual' classroom teaching to achieve. 

The project is currently operating in 53 schools in 9 districts reaching 20,000 children, with secured funding for 128 schools in 15 districts and a projected reach of 55,000 children.

Stembile Naming'ona, teacher in Malawi, collects tablet computers after a learning session ©VSO/Amos Gumulira

“I can see it making improvements with our children. In the second week of using the iPad I saw a change. They are rarely absent now because they don’t want to miss those classes!”

- Stembile Naming’ona, teacher, Biwi Primary School, Malawi


In partnership with non-profit software organisation onebillion, VSO leads a group of non-profit, state and private sector organisations to deliver and measure this project.

Unlocking Talent is funded through the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Scottish Government, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), UNICEF and independent donors. It is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, onebillion, Cisco Meraki, Airtel, University of Malawi, and University of Nottingham.

Partner with us

If you'd like to partner with us, please get in touch: