The vision of the education sector in Malawi is to see by 2015 that the quality and excellence in education is achieved in all avenues of learning; Primary and Secondary education assumes gender equality and girls access full basic education; Early childhood care and education is improved and expanded; learning needs of all including vocational skills are met; Adult learning literacy is improved by 50%; All children, particularly the vulnerable girls, orphans, disabled in varied circumstances attain quality, free and compulsory primary education.
The government in response has introduced free primary education that has seen the enrollment increasing by 200% with no new schools built and with only few teachers trained making the teacher to student ratio increase from 1 to 40 to 120 and 1 to 120 classroom to student ratio and with other students learning under the trees.
Most government schools are up to standard 8 with only few secondary schools which are a distance away. Very few students go to secondary schools and many who pass standard 8 National exams but are not selected to go to secondary schools graduate back into the community, tilling the ground in order to plough food. The children who pass from primary to secondary school walk at a distance of approximately 5-8 km to get to the government or community Day secondary school. In Some villages, no secondary school is available until 40 km away from the village.
Malawi Education system is hampered by problems of poor access, high repetition and drop out rates, poor infrastructures, inadequate learning materials and furniture, untrained teachers, overcrowded classrooms, inequality, poverty, pregnancies and early marriages.
SUCCESS STORY: Sponsored students
Most students who were lacking school fees and walking long distances to schools in SOM’s impact areas now receive sponsorship and a community Day Secondary School has been built within a walkable distance.