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Education in Malawi


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  Girls are being forced from school because they is viewed as a bad investment, their brother's educations are prioritized.

-Danae Archuleta

At a Glance:

Level Preschool Primary* Secondary
Tuition Fees
Paid Teachers
Grade Levels 1 Level Standard 1 - Standard 8 Form 1 - Form 4

* 70% of girls are forced to drop out of Primary School, most commonly at Standard (Grade) 5.

Yes Sometimes

In More Detail -

Preschool -

Primary -

Secondary -

Non-government run, but not always public. Most teachers are volunteers and very few recive any payment at all. Most preschools charge small fees to the parents for the education and daycare aspects of the school. The fee also covers food, any pay the teacher might get, stationary materials, and property or building (if they have one) upkeep. Of the 56 registered pre-schools around Amalika, only 7 have a building, with most being conducted outside under a roof or tree.

Covers Standards 1 through 8 (Grades 1-8). In Malawi, the tuition is free to individual families, but there are often additional fees that students are required to pay. A fee is required for every exam taken, and students must pay for their own food, uniforms, and stationary materials.

Covers Forms 1 through 4 (Grades 9-12). Students graduate at the end of Form 4 and are then prepared for post-secondary schooling. Secondary schooling does cost individual families. There is no set national price however, so different schools cost different ammounts. The cheapest schools cost around 10,000 Kwaches ($13.88 USD) per term. More expensive schools can cost up to 75,000 Kwaches ($104 USD) per term. The School year starts in September and is divided into three terms.

Grading Scale
Range: 80-100 70-79 60-69 45-59 0-44
Grade: A (Excellent) B (Very Good) C (Good) D (Average) F (Fail)

Poverty and Education -


  when you see a girl with a book, she will be changed, not only in the family, but also in the nation. So if you want to destroy a nation, destroy the girls. To build our nations, our continent, build up our girls.

-Kayrn Adams (The Borgen Project)

Even in countries with free education, additional costs can weigh down a struggling family. These families may pull their children out of school so they can make money to support the family, but when that child's education is cut short, the possibility of a hire wage job is reduced significantly.

Poverty is more than just having not enough money. Food shortages and malnutrition also effect communities struggling with poverty. Agricultural education can increase the capacity of food a community can produce, helping to feed the community as well as create a source of income.

Education also reduces that threat of plague and disease. Without an understanding of good hygiene, even the common cold can ravage a village, which only contributes to more poverty.

Education creates free, healthy, and more developed citizens, and provides them will endless opportunities.

Girls and Education -


  I found that in Malawi, 41% of women cannot read or write, while 27% of men cannot. Offering all children education will prop up literacy rates, pushing forward development through the option of better jobs. I found that children of educated mothers are twice as likely to survive past the age of five. A girl who completes a primary school education is three times less likely to contract HIV, which 10% of the population of Malawi has. On average, if a girl receives seven or more years of education, her wedding date is pushed back at least 4 years. According to the United Nations, single year of primary education has shown to increase a girl's wages later in life by 20 percent. These simple facts are so powerful to me. They show just how important a female's education is to her future and her entire family. In Malawi, parents often prioritize a son's education because the girls are viewed as a bad investment to the family. I have seen several cases where the girls stayed home while the boys received an education.

   -Danae Archuleta

The ratio of women to men in Africa is 51 to 49. African countries are losing out by not educating the girls.

  5 students from DAPP Amalika TTC conducted a survey in the local village of Manjolo, Malawi. The survey was created to discover the views of women's education regarding importance and relevancy from both men and women. The survey was also created to uncover the problems that the women and girls truly face in the communities near Amalika. We found that 70% of women did not receive higher than a primary education, and the most common drop out year was standard 5. Many of these adult women who quit schooling, quit because of three reasons: early unplanned pregnancy, early marriage, or economic struggles. We met girls who were forced from school because the parents could not afford both her and her brother's education, preferring the brother's education over her own. Many families may believe that the girls are bad investments to receive an education because she is susceptible to pregnancy. Many girls are actually kept from school because the parents fear her pregnancy, so instead they will send her to market to sell products, where she is posed a higher risk. We met a devastated father who kept his daughter from school and sent her to walk the three hours to market; along this commute the daughter was raped. There is practice of a cultural tradition that teaches young girls how to sexually please their future husbands, through this training, the young girls are impregnated. I found an 11 year old who had gone through this practice, preparing her small body for the birth.

• These women were uncovered by only interviewing a small proportion of the community.

• We have not gone to other surrounding communities.

• Every single woman has a strong story similar to these.