Mary Kwiyoka, a 7-year-old girl who is in Standard 2, at Nachiwe Primary School, is rewriting the narrative of inclusivity in education. Born with a disability that affected her mobility and speech, Mary’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of the BEFIT program which introduced tablet lessons that have helped her overcome her mobility and speech challenges.
Mary hails from Manse 1 village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwaulambia, Chitipa district. Mary faces challenges that would potentially deter many learners with similar disabilities, but her determination to embrace education knows no bounds. Despite the 30-minute walk to school, double the time it takes most learners, Mary’s passion for learning remains unwavering. Accompanied by her parents, who lovingly escort her to school, Mary defies the odds, often insisting on walking independently.
In the inclusive learning environment fostered by tablet lessons, Mary’s resilience shines brightly. Initially grappling with difficulties in walking and speaking, she faced challenges in adapting to tablet lessons. However, with time and dedication, Mary not only overcame these obstacles but thrived in the digital learning landscape.
Mary’s progress extends beyond the physical challenges she faces. Through tablet lessons, she has mastered the ability to follow instructions independently and has also demonstrated marked improvement in various subjects, a testament to her rapid growth in analytical and reasoning skills. Her class teacher marvels at the strides that Mary has made, acknowledging her growth and determination.
What makes Mary’s story particularly special is its broader impact on inclusivity within the education system. The initiative to integrate tablet lessons has created a space where learners with disabilities are not only accommodated but thrive in their academic pursuits. The program goes beyond addressing numerical and literacy skills; it fosters an environment where every child, regardless of physical and socioeconomic challenges, can actively participate and contribute to the learning community.
Mary’s journey symbolizes the triumph of inclusiveness, turning challenges into steppingstones for success. Her story echoes the promise of a more inclusive and accessible education system in Malawi, where every child’s potential is recognized and nurtured. Mary Kwiyoka stands as a testament to the transformative power of education in breaking barriers and fostering a more inclusive future for all.