The right of a child to education is being eroded in many high HIV-prevalence communities in sub-Saharan Africa because schools that are challenged to meet the educational/emotional needs of vulnerable students are not yet reaching out to those who cannot attend school regularly (Bennell, 2005, Pridmore and Yates 2006). This paper reports on work in progress on a study that seeks to increase educational access and achievement for these vulnerable students through using self-study learner-guides to complement conventional schooling and building circles of support around them. In 2009, the intervention was implemented in 20 intervention and 20 control schools in Malawi and also in Lesotho, and evaluated in a randomised controlled trial. Preliminary findings from the evaluation in Malawi show that there was an overall impact of the Project intervention on reducing drop out in SOFIE schools. This suggests that more flexible models of schooling can increase the efficiency of education systems and assist governments in high HIV- prevalence countries to reach their Millennium Development Goals for Education.
Pridmore, P. Reaching and teaching marginalised children in Malawi and Lesotho. In: Proceedings, 2nd International conference on education, economy and society. Analytrics, (2010) 158-173. ISBN 9782953384284