1.       Background


Save the Children International (SCI), is the world’s leading independent organization for children. It works in over 120 countries around the world. Our Vision is to have a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Our Mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.

Save the Children, in collaboration with Ministry of Education Science and Technology through the Department of Special Needs Education, is implementing an Inclusive Education (IE) in Malawi Project. Inclusive Education is a process of restructuring the education system, cultures, policies, and practices to address and respond to diverse needs of all learners (UNESCO, 2001). It emphasizes that every child irrespective of their characteristics is supported to meaningfully participate and learn alongside his or her peers in a conducive learning environment and develop to his or her full potential. Successful IE therefore ensures joint as well as participatory learning by all types of learners within an inclusive educational system, taking into account, disadvantaged groups that are, still either excluded from education or are not given necessary support in the existing system.

The IE project targets all children in and out of school with a special focus on the marginalized girls, children with disabilities, and children coming from ultra-poor households. The project’s total budget is NOK 40,000,000 (approximately 5.1 Million United States Dollars) and funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy (RNE) through Save the Children Norway (SCN). The project started in August 2015 is expected to end in December 2018. The project is being implemented in three districts of Mangochi, Lilongwe Urban and Mzimba South. The main goal of the project is to have deprived children learn and develop in a safe and inclusive education system.

The project aims to achieve the following strategic outcomes;

  1.  Demand and support for IE in the targeted communities increased.
  2.  Government systems strengthened to support Inclusive Education.
  3.  Teacher Education Development and Support for IE Improved.
  4.  School-level systems and structures in support of inclusive learning environments in schools strengthened.
  5.  Learning generated through Action Research to inform policy and practice in inclusive education.
  6.  Data management systems for Inclusive Education improved.

The IE project in Malawi is being implemented by, a consortium of three local organizations comprising two faith-based organizations, namely; CCAP Synod of Livingstonia and Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) and the Federation of Disabled Peoples Organization in Malawi (FEDOMA). CCAP Synod of Livingstonia is responsible for implementation of project activities in Mzimba South while CCAP Blantyre Synod is responsible for implementation of activities in Mangochi district. FEDOMA leads implementation of project activities in Lilongwe Urban. The project also actively works with Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) - namely Montfort SNE College, Machinga TTC and Lilongwe TTC to improve and integrate Inclusive Education in the pre-service teacher training. 

Key activities of the project include; sensitization and awareness initiatives at various levels (i.e. national, district and community levels), capacity building of implementing partners and key project stakeholders at national, district and community levels, to enhance their understanding of inclusive education concept, its importance and how it can be implemented, contribute towards strengthening of  government systems and lobbying for government’s support towards implementation of inclusive education,  generating new knowledge and evidence to support implementation of Inclusive Education in Malawi; and establishing a robust case management system to facilitate identification and inclusion of otherwise excluded learners in schools.

The project is also supporting children coming from ultra-poor households with basic needs package to enable them learn in school. The basic needs package comprises of the following items for every child: 1 school bag, bathing soap (2 tablets), washing soap (2 big bars of sunshine), 10 notebooks (for standards 3-8) and 5 notebooks for children in standards 1 and 2, 3 pens for children in standards 3 to 8, and 1 pen and 2 pencils for children in standards 1and 2.Having implemented the project to its final year, it is necessary to conduct an End-line Evaluation in order to assess the impact of the project at community, district and national levels.  Save the Children therefore wishes to engage an external consultant to conduct an End-line Evaluation. Information generated from the evaluation will be used to document impact, lessons learnt, and recommendations for future programming of the IE interventions.  


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