Education & Jobs

One in ten children not at school

Primary education is compulsory in Malawi. However, around one in ten primary-age children are not enrolled at school. Of those who do attend school, only a quarter currently go on to secondary education.

Importance of education

Education in Malawi

In this video… For Joyce, there is nothing more important than that a girl should get a good education. Boys as well, but girls in particular – because, education is the route to giving Malawian women the freedoms and independence they deserve.

Free primary schooling was introduced in 1994, which led to a significant increase in the numbers of children. With a ratio of 80 pupils for every one teacher, and sometimes 100 children to a classroom, Malawi currently suffers from a lack of educational infrastructure and resources.

Bid to build resources

A National Education Sector Plan has been adopted by the Malawian government to improve education. Nearly a quarter of the government's budget is going to education. The aim is to create more classrooms, trained teachers and learning resources.

Experts agree that education is the key to pulling people out of poverty and helping the country to develop.

The plan is being supported by international development partners who are helping to fund further educational initiatives.

School for the disabled

School for disabled children

School for disabled children

In this video clipThe teachers explain the daily challenges they face – not just sometimes from the children’s behavioural problems but through lack of funds for teaching materials and equipment.

In Malawi, it’s not unheard of for disabled children to be found abandoned on rubbish tips.

The SOS Children's Village in Lilongwe incorporates a special needs school, which teaches, nurtures and encourages 120 children with learning disabilities and special needs.

What hope of a future do these children have? More of a future, at least, than if they were left in the community where children with special needs are often abandoned by their families.

Agriculture employs 80%

Jobs in the country are mainly in the agricultural sector, which employs more than 80% of the population.

There are a few vocational centres offering training in professions and trades, such as nursing, carpentry, motor mechanics, welding and printing.Maize Silos

Fishing is also an important local industry. Around Lake Malawi, fishermen still use traditional methods to catch fish.

Going out in groups of two or three canoes, the fishermen lay long nets parallel to the shore, which sit in the water all day. At dusk, two groups of ‘pullers’ drag in the nets, which scrape along the bottom of the lake bed and bring the catch to shore. Fishermen also use rods of bamboo, hooking fish on a line with bait of worms and insects.