The Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Project

The Complementary Basic Education Project is an initiative of the Malawian government implemented by the Creative Center for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) that seeks to improve access to primary education for out of school youth. Its learning centers emphasize literacy, numeracy and other skills that promote self-reliance and lifelong learning.
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Year launched: 
2010
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM)
Education level (ISCED): 

Location Data

State/Province: 
Kasungu and Phalombe
Geography type: 
Program Description: 
The Mission | In 2010, the Malawian government conducted a survey which revealed that nearly half of the nation's population is illiterate. While the government, at both national and local levels, has made a significant effort to redress this issue, the challenge of improving literacy has been exacerbated by a high dropout rate among students before they complete primary education - especially in rural areas. The CRECCOM Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Project is an accelerated three year program for out-of-school children in which students develop a sustainable level of literacy, numeracy, and other essential skills that will enable them to reintegrate into the formal education system. 
 
The CBE Model | The three year program gives primary school dropouts and first year students the opportunity to complete the standard five years of primary education in a compressed amount of time. The curriculum focuses on literacy and numeracy, but also covers health and agriculture-related topics. In addition to more traditional offerings, CBE emphasizes soft skills and values that promote self-reliance, lifelong learning, community engagement, and citizenship. While several other organizations are also implementing the CBE program in other districts of Malawi, CRECCOM is implementing in only two districts - Kasungu and Phalombe - with 30 centers in each district totaling to 60 centers. These facilities were formed in existing community structures such as churches or schools after regular operating hours. Lessons at each center are conducted by volunteers from the community. These volunteers are not certified teachers but they undergo continuous training, especially during holidays. The trainings are conducted by tutors from different teacher training colleges. In addition to training, CBE provides instructors with learning materials and guides in order to best address the needs of students. Ultimately, CBE aims to prepare primary students for and encourage them to pursue higher education. Another central goal is to sensitize the general community about the importance of education in resolving development issues.
 
The Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) was established in 1999, emerging from two USAID projects - GABLE SMC and the Social Mobilization Campaign for Educational Quality (SMC EQ Project). Its mission is to motivate, mobilize, and empower communities towards full participation in development initiatives.