Malawi: Study Exposes Serious Gaps in Malawi Education Sector

School classroom with desks.

Government has miserably failed to resolve gaps existing in the education sector, 54 years after gaining independence from Britain in 1964, findings of a recent study say.

Education experts brainstorm

The study was conducted by local and international education experts, including lecturers at the University of Strathcylide of the United Kingdom (UK), University of Aberdeen, UK, and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

Dubbed 'Closing the Inequality Gap in Children's Educational Attainment in Malawi', the study was commissioned to appreciate and evaluate steps Malawi is taking to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all as espoused by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.

The study observes that majority of the Malawian children continue to suffer myriad and inexplicable challenges to access quality education and that there is no improvement in infrastructure despite government investing billions of kwacha into the sectors.

It further notes that significant inequalities in the education systems with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, including children from low income and rural settings performing well below those from better off backgrounds.

"In both rural and urban areas, there are schools serving children from disadvantaged backgrounds fewer to none of the children progress to national, conventional or Community Day Secondary School at the end of the Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education examinations. These schools tend to have low secondary school transition, high standard eight repetition rates and dropout," reads part of the report.

Dr Edward Sosu of the University of Strathcylide disclosed in an interview in Lilongwe on Tuesday that effects of multidimensional poverty were some of the reasons for the poor educational outcomes.

Sosu said their research had shown that household poverty, accessibility poverty and school resource poverty inder access to quality education and affect children's educational attainment.

"We also found other socio-cultural, educational and policy practices that affect access to quality education and children's educational attainment. Within these, socio-cultural, educational and school-parent engagement are key influencers of access to quality education," he explained.

The Director of Basic Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Gossam Mafuta, acknowledged the challenges besetting the education sector in the country.

But Mafuta said government is working hard to address the existing gaps and ensure that every child enjoy his or her right to education without facing problems.

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