This report introduces a model of education that uses open, distance and flexible learning (ODFL) to strengthen and support access to learning within conventional schools. The model utilises low-tech ODFL strategies - including self-study guides, peer group learning, a buddy system, and ‘school-in-a-box’ - to enrich and complement formal schooling. It also promotes an enabling environment within schools through increasing school and community capacity in identifying, monitoring and providing pastoral care for vulnerable pupils, as well as promoting practices to support greater inclusion. This report presents findings from a three-year collaborative research study working within the SADC region (the SOFIE project), which developed and trialled this model. In Malawi the model was trialled in schools in two rural districts – Phalombe and Mzimba South – targeting Standard 6 pupils. The research used an embedded experimental design to collect and analyse both quantitative and qualitative data, following a mixed methods approach.
Jere, C. Developing, implementing an evaluating the SOFIE model supporting increased educational access for vulnerable pupils in rural Malawi. Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK (2011) 71 pp. ISBN 9781906648169