With a population of around 17 million, the small African state of Malawi has substantially high rates of diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and diarrheal diseases. AIDS has consistently been prevalent in Malawi, with 27 percent of the population currently either infected with HIV or diagnosed with AIDS.

The people of Malawi have not lost hope to these common diseases in Malawi, as numbers are declining and life-saving treatments are becoming readily accessible. AIDS has historically been a disease that not many come back from, but with innovative antiretroviral treatments (ART) the virus (HIV) has become manageable.

In 2011, about 67 percent of all children and adults diagnosed with AIDS or infected with HIV in Malawi were receiving ART. The World Health Organization (WHO) helped with the foundation of 716 clinics in the country. As of December 2015, these clinics were administering the treatment to over 870,000 people.

In addition to AIDS, malaria has an association with the entire continent of Africa. An estimated 3.3 million inhabitants living in Malawi have contracted malaria. This statistic is astonishing considering the population in Malawi is only around 17 million. Due to its extreme prevalence, doctors and health care professionals are always searching to find solutions to this problem.

According to UNICEF, an African child dies every 30 seconds as a result of malaria. To combat the situation, UNICEF has partnered with the government of Malawi and various other international organizations. One way they have found a solution is through subsidizing mosquito nets. At one hospital, purchasing mosquito nets only costs a mere 20 cents.

Although children across the continent are being killed by this deadly disease every few seconds, it is pregnant mothers who are the most concerning. In their case, both the mother and baby can contract the disease. Thankfully the fix is easy, requiring pregnant mothers to take anti-malaria pills only twice during their pregnancy. This medicine fights various side effects of malaria in both the mother and the baby.

Fighting common diseases in Malawi cannot be done solely by taking medications and receiving vaccines. Diarrheal deaths are among the most common disease deaths in Malawi. However, a healthy lifestyle is essential to fighting this epidemic. Nutritious food and an unpolluted environment are necessary for lowering the number of people affected by diarrheal deaths. Around 10 million people in Malawi still do not have access to purified water, which exacerbates the problem of diarrheal disease-induced mortality.

These common diseases in Malawi are manageable in various ways. With the help of organizations such as the WHO and numerous nonprofits, Malawi has hope for the future in eradicating these diseases. Services such as subsidizing mosquito nets and offering ART across Malawi have already made substantial improvements in the lives of millions.

Sophie Casimes

Photo: Flickr

The need for developing education in Malawi is continual. For example, in 2010, around 10 percent of primary aged children were not in school, and the primary school repetition rate reported in at 24 percent for boys and 29 percent for girls.

Girls in Malawi are exceptionally more vulnerable to a lack of education than boys. In fact, 32 percent of girls aged 14 to 17 are not in school compared to 23 percent of boys this age. Additionally, while 72 percent of boys 15 and older are literate, only 51 percent of women in this age group can read and write.

Part of this gap is caused by the high child marriage rate in Malawi, which is 11th highest in the world. UNICEF reports that approximately 50 percent of Malawian girls marry before they turn 18. Fortunately, this year the Malawian government moved to make marriage legal only after a woman is 18 years old.

Marshall Dyson, founder of the Girl Child Education Movement, is one of many Malawians who recognizes the need for resolution of the educational gender disparity. Dyson’s idea incorporated broadcasting an open discussion of child marriage and girls’ education over the radio. Both men and women of a variety of ages and backgrounds participated in the talk.

The discussion about girls’ education in Malawi broadcasted over Radio Islam, the only Islamic radio station in Malawi. Dyson strategically chose this platform since Muslims rested at risk of discrimination.

Dyson got his start in radio via an internship with Kumakomo Community Radio Station in Zimbabwe. There he served as the content manager of 12 volunteers.

The impact of this position is especially significant, considering that radio acts as the main source of news for most Malawians. According to USAID, the two-hour broadcast “was a collaboration across the YALI and Mandela Washington Fellows networks, and with Regional Leadership Center participants — young leaders between 18 and 35 enrolled in USAID-supported leadership training programs in sub-Saharan Africa.” Around three million people tuned in.

USAID states that “the Muslim Association of Malawi, who attended the event, agreed to open new offices in rural areas where communities can access up-to-date information about education and scholarship opportunities for girls.”

Education in Malawi still has much room for improvement, and humanitarians like Marshall Dyson act as major catalysts in that process. Through work such as his, Malawi is destined to achieve higher standards of education than ever before.

Emma Tennyson

Photo: Flickr

Rihanna's Charity Work Fighting Poverty in Malawi
In January 2017, Rihanna visited Malawi on behalf of her foundation, the Clara Lionel Foundation. She also journeyed as a global ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education.

During her stay, Rihanna, accompanied by former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, hoped to learn more about the challenges regarding health and education in Malawi. Global Citizen uploaded a short film documenting Rihanna’s charity work. The film depicts the poverty, hunger, poor education and the lack of many basic human rights that many children face in Malawi. In addition to interacting with children, Rihanna also discussed future improvement strategies with key political leaders.

The situation regarding education in Malawi requires immediate action. This documentary and Rihanna’s charity work helped bring attention to the severity of conditions in Malawi. According to a World Bank survey, one in two Malawians live in poverty, making it the country’s most pressing issue.

Currently, the fight against poverty in Malawi has experienced little progress in the past decade. Like many impoverished countries, the rural regions of Malawi are the most heavily impacted. The issue is primarily due to volatile economic conditions, natural disasters and poor performance in the agricultural sector. The World Bank has suggested that one possible solution could be investing in secondary education for women.

These issues regarding poverty and education have a particularly profound impact on young Malawian women. Rihanna’s charity work, as shown in the documentary, addresses how issues such as poor public infrastructure put young women in danger while walking to school. In addition, cultural practices such as arranged marriages deter women from pursuing education.

Rihanna’s charity work in Malawi attempts to increase global awareness of these issues while creating connections with key leaders. The Global Partnership for Education has raised funds for global education, and in past years has focused specifically on “inclusive, equitable quality education for all by 2030.” In fact, the organization hopes to raise $3.1 billion for over 870 million children in 89 countries between 2018 and 2020. Partnering with Rihanna allowed them to combine these goals with the singer’s interest in education for girls and arts education.

In years past, Rihanna has used her fame to further her charity work. As a champion for women’s rights and access to arts and education, Rihanna established the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012. The nonprofit fights to “improve the quality of life for communities globally in the areas of health, education, arts and culture.” The foundation creates scholarships, partners with various corporations, holds fundraising events and does much more in an effort to provide these areas with the resources they need.

Julia Morrison

Photo: Flickr

Situated in southeastern Africa, Malawi is landlocked between Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. Over the last few decades, this largely agrarian nation experienced turbulent times. Despite inflation, corruption, HIV/AIDS and underdevelopment, Malawians are tenacious and remain incredibly friendly people. Here are 10 facts about refugees in Malawi:

  1. There are two camps for refugees in Malawi: Luwani (in the south) and Dzaleka (to the north). Luwani was reopened by the Malawian government in March 2016 to cope with refugees from Mozambique in the wake of conflicts between the government and opposition groups.
  2. At the end of March of this year, 3,073 Mozambican nationals who fled the Tete Province resided in the southern Luwani camp, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). This was a reduction of 382 refugees in Malawi from the end of February.
  3. The Dzaleka encampment, near Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, houses refugees and asylum-seekers from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Somalia. Most stay a few weeks before heading to South Africa.
  4. In a March 2017 press release, the UNHCR officially claimed the “Dzaleka refugee camp, originally built for a population of some 9,000 people now has more than tripled in size to nearly 28,000 people.”
  5. According to Monique Ekoko, UNHCR’s Representative to Malawi, “The new arrivals of refugees in Malawi has been at a steady rate of between 400 to 700 people per month over the past two years.”
  6. More than one million Mozambican refugees fled to the Luwani Camp during the nation’s civil war from 1977 to 1992.
  7. Due to weather-related events, the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) suggests that 39 percent of the population (6,491,847 people out of a total population of 16,832,910) will not receive the minimum food requirement for 2016 and 2017. This is an increase of 129 percent since the previous year, a fact which makes it difficult to feed increasing numbers of refugees in Malawi.
  8. Mozambican officials pressure the Malawian government to refrain from recognizing every individual who crosses the nation’s borders as a refugee.
  9. Malaria, water shortages, dwindling food rations and respiratory infections are rampant in the encampments. Without proper funding, these and many other problems will persist.
  10. The Dzaleka camp’s health center serves a combination of 65,000 refugees and Malawians. Nearly 60 percent of the individuals cared for are Malawians.

The pressing problem of food insecurity – due to unpredictable weather and rising food prices – will be a major hurdle in the region’s recovery. Among its key planning figures for 2017, the U.N. expects to distribute an average of 2,100 calories to each refugee in Malawi and construct 920 latrines in the Dzaleka camp to meet sanitation standards. To reach long-term goals of peace and security, the UNHCR cites a 30 percent primary school enrollment figure for refugee children. With help of the international community, these activities should improve the lives of individuals in Malawi and promote regional prosperity.

JG Federman

Photo: Flickr

Child Undernutrition
Malawi is a country in southeast Africa with a population of more than 17 million people. Of those, 6.5 million require food assistance. In southern Africa, it is the country with the largest number of people facing extreme hunger. But for the people who live there, the problem of child undernutrition is a larger issue than the reality of daily life without enough food.

The African Union, with the support of the U.N.’s Economic Commission for Africa and the World Food Program (WFP), conducted a Cost of Hunger Study, which included Malawi. It detailed the social and economic costs of child undernutrition in Malawi, specifically, its impact on health, education and the national economy.

According to the study, “When a child is undernourished, the negative consequences follow that child for his or her entire life.” Child undernutrition includes low weight-for-height, low height-for-age and low weight-for-age. The negative consequences consist of higher morbidity and mortality rates, which can create costs for families as well as the healthcare industry. The WFP indicates that “Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.”

Increases in morbidity and mortality rates caused by undernutrition also account for a reduction in the number of people who are available to work in Malawi. The study estimated that in 2012, 10.7 percent of the workforce was missing due to increased mortality rates caused by undernutrition. This equaled 800,566 people who were either lost from or did not become part of the nation’s workforce.

There is also an impact on the outcomes in education. Malnourished children have lower attention spans and learning capacities, which often results in the need to repeat grade levels. This can lead to completing fewer years of school, and will directly impact how productive children will be as adults. It considerably inhibits children’s abilities to reach their full potential. As stated in the results of the study, “National productivity is significantly affected by historical rates of child undernutrition.”

The cost of hunger in Malawi is significant, but there are things that are being done to improve the country’s situation. The WFP’s ShareTheMeal app enables users to donate as little as 50 cents, which will feed a child in Malawi for one day.

The organization also recently imported 55,000 metric tons of maize into Malawi to aid the 4.7 million people who live in drought-affected areas. However, there is more that is still needed to ensure that the negative consequences of hunger do not continue in Malawi.

Kristin Westad

Photo: Flickr

Mining in Malawi: Understanding the Conflict
The relationship between the mining industry and the country of Malawi is burdened with complexity. Mining in Malawi promises substantial economic growth, yet it simultaneously has the potential to violate human rights and destroy the natural ecosystem.

Malawi profits through the mining industry, as the country is rich in economic deposits of uranium. Both Malawian granite and sandstone host uranium reserves, such as the Karoo sandstone in Karonga, Malawi.

The district of Karonga lies on the northwest side of Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi is one of the only freshwater lakes on the entire continent of Africa and is a key source of livelihood for over 1.5 million Malawians.

While clearly rich in resources, the country itself is impoverished. Due to this, the government has signed many agreements with extraction companies, hoping to increase exports.

Some national organizations are concerned about the mining industry’s effect on the precious and fragile ecosystem of Lake Malawi, yet the government has prioritized economic interests.

In 2007, a subsidiary of Paladin Energy took interest in Karonga due to a uranium deposit in the district. Due to the immense economic potential of the mine, called Kayelekera, the government agreed to let Paladin extract uranium in 2009. The government was issued 15 percent equity in the subsidiary.

As expected, the mine stimulated a crucial boost to the country’s foreign currency account. Over the following 10 years, the uranium industry overall is expected to raise Malawi’s GDP by 10 percent, account for 30 percent of exports and increase exports by 25 percent.

Due to company promises, many people in Malawi flocked to Karonga, hoping the uranium industry would generate employment, build clinics and increase general infrastructure in the new mining community.

Others, however, were not adequately informed that uranium mining was going to take place around their homes. None were aware that the Kayelekera mine would disrupt their entire way of life.

Reporters from Human Rights Watch conducted research for a year in Karonga, interviewing nearly 80 villagers who had been affected by uranium mining. They found that the general lack of government oversight and corporate responsibility harmed Malawians.

The construction of the Kayelekera mine caused villagers to be evicted from their homes. Many were only notified of the relocation at the last minute. Without any time to find other places to stay, these Malawians found themselves temporarily homeless.

While Paladin did offer compensation for the forced removal, the sum was insufficient to completely cover the cost of buying new land and building a new home. The company offered about MWK 50,000 to each family, which currently equates to about $70.

The uranium mining in Malawi damaged maize crops, dried rice fields and destroyed irrigation channels. As most of the villagers around Karonga live off of subsistence farming, threatened agriculture endangers survival.

Secrecy around the operations of the mine led to Malawian suspicion. When the people in Karonga asked the corporation to test the water for contamination, Paladin claimed to have a monitoring system in place. The company then refused to release any results. This lack of transparency has left many villagers concerned for their health.

As the laws surrounding mining in Malawi have not been updated since the Environmental Management Act of 1996, amendments are well overdue. In order to protect the interests of its citizens, the government of Malawi needs to strengthen regulations over extractive corporations, educate its people about the risks of mining, enforce institutional transparency and take measures to mitigate any damage.

The Kayelekera mine was closed in 2014 for repairs, yet the uranium industry in Malawi is just beginning. Moving forward, the Malawian government needs to enforce corporate responsibility on all companies who wish to extract natural resources from their country.

This conflict over mining in Malawi ignites fundamental questions over the delicate balance between economic development and social responsibility. With a more comprehensive legal framework, the government of Malawi may not have to choose one or the other. After further reform, the government can protect its people while simultaneously fostering social, institutional and economic development.

Larkin Smith

Photo: Flickr

Top Diseases in Malawi
Malawi’s Ministry of Health states that their current overall policies are meant to focus on: “the development of a sound delivery system capable of promoting health, preventing, reducing and curing diseases, protecting life and fostering general well-being and increased productivity.” In recent years, the country has made substantial advancements in the field of medicine in terms of addressing their most pressing health issues, namely the top diseases in Malawi.

Infant and child mortality have been declining, and HIV rates among citizens have begun to level out. Despite having made progress, Malawi continues to be characterized by the burden of high infectious disease rates. The average life expectancy of a person living in Malawi is 57 years for males, and 58 years for females, making it the country with the twentieth lowest life expectancy in the world. However, the five top diseases in Malawi are all either preventable or treatable with basic medical care.

HIV/AIDS: 27% of deaths

Malawi is making impressive strides in combating their HIV epidemic, specifically in the prevention of mother to child transmission of the disease. However, Malawi’s HIV presence is still one of the highest in the world. It is home to roughly four percent of all people with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As of 2015, 10.3% of the population was living with HIV or AIDS; 9.3% of these people were between the ages of 15 and 49 years. That averages to around 980,000 people. The disease disproportionately affects females in Malawi, with an average of 4.5% of young females, and 2.7% of young men from 15 to 24 years living with HIV.

It is estimated that only 61% of all infected adults are on antiretroviral treatment. This epidemic, which killed 48,000 people in 2013 alone, is largely responsible for Malawi’s low life expectancy of 57.5 years.

Lower Respiratory Infections: nine percent of deaths

Lower respiratory problems have topped the charts as a reason for hospital admission in Malawi prior to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Lower respiratory infections cover everything from pneumonia to bronchitis, and Malawi has seen an increase in these infections particularly in its citizens with the HIV virus.

Pneumonia is the single biggest killer of children in Malawi, prematurely ending the lives of an estimated 1,000 infants in 2010 alone.

Malaria: six percent of deaths

Despite progress, malaria continues to be one of the top diseases in Malawi. Malaria is responsible for nearly 40% of hospitalizations in children under the age of 5, 30% of all outpatient visits and is one of the highest causes of mortality in all age groups.

Transmission of the disease occurs mostly from November to April, during Malawi’s rainy season. However, with global support, the Ministry of Health’s National Malaria Control Program in Malawi has been able to distribute treatment more easily throughout the population.

Since efforts were put in place in 2004, the mortality rate for children 5 years and younger has fallen by more than 36%. This is largely due to Malawi introducing the pneumococcal vaccine as part of routine childhood vaccination in November 2011, and the additional rotavirus vaccine in October 2012. Malawi is one of the four countries in the African Region that offers these vaccinations.

Diarrheal Disease: five percent of deaths

Diarrheal disease poses a serious threat, particularly to 5% of the children of Malawi, as it claims nearly 600 lives of Malawian children per year. Support from such initiatives as the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the GAVI Alliance has given us an opportunity to offer those in Malawi protection from diarrheal diseases.

More lives could be saved through basic interventions, such as improving drinking water, increasing sanitation efforts and distributing a simple solution of oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements during bouts of diarrhea.

Perinatal Conditions: three percent of deaths

Perinatal conditions are any conditions existing in a baby before or immediately after birth. These conditions often stem from preexisting conditions in the mother, and are more easily prevented than treated. Solutions posed for this problem include better sex education for women, easier access to contraceptives — only 41% of Malawian women showed an understanding of preventative measures for sexually transmitted diseases in 2015 — and more accessible treatments for diseases such as HIV and malaria.

Currently, Malawi faces problems in addressing many of their health issues with regard to domestic funding and external stigma against the country. However, Malawi is committed to addressing the challenges of the top diseases in Malawi at the national level with cooperation and innovation in order to have a lasting impact.

Kayla Provencher

Photo: Flickr

Water Quality in MalawiClean water is something that is often taken for granted, but certainly not in Malawi. In the last two years, UNICEF helped nearly 50,000 people gain access to improved water supply and produced 500 water points, with the new goal to serve an additional 125,000 people with safe water in 2016. Though overall water quality in Malawi has improved significantly, there is still so much more that can be done.

  1. Many water hand pumps are inoperative, leaving people with no choice but to go back to unsafe water sources. Poor sanitation practices and improper storage of drinking water often lead to waterborne illnesses like cholera. WaterAid is one organization making a difference and supporting the marginalized communities of Malawi by repairing broken wells and handpumps. Showing users how to maintain their own facilities ensures that safe water will be available close to homes year round.
  2. The lack of access to safe water in Malawi has taken a toll on cultivation and increased hunger. A steady water supply is essential to growing enough food to eat, but the extreme weather and pollution where the majority of people in Malawi live make farming difficult. In addition to wells and handpumps, WaterAid also builds simple composting latrines, which help keep water sources clean and provide fertilizer for crops.
  3. According to the USAID Fact Sheet, approximately 4 million people still lack access to safe water. Likewise, 10 million people lack access to adequate sanitation in Malawi. Clean water is essential for a healthy population. Clean Water for Malawi (CWFM) works to provide this basic necessity by drilling water wells in small villages. CWFM has built 402 wells in Malawi since 2010, with each well supplying enough clean water for up to 350 – 500 people.
  4. Lack of access to clean water causes disease and death in Malawi. Approximately 30,000 people die every year in Malawi from issues caused by dirty water, namely diarrhea, dysentery, parasitic infections and food and water-borne illnesses.
  5. Studies show that schools that do not have working toilets or water discourage children from attending and completing their education. In 2007, UNICEF fixed 39 school water points, bringing safe water to 23,000 school children. Public communication strategies regarding hygiene promotion also help to educate individuals in Malawi on the proper use and safe handling of water and sanitation facilities.

With poor water quality in Malawi having such a heavy impact on the lives of locals, organizations like UNICEF, WaterAid and USAID are applauded for their generous contributions.

Making the issue a priority and taking direct action has saved thousands of lives and is hopefully a mindset that will carry on to further improve conditions in Malawi.

Mikaela Frigillana

Photo: Flickr

Emmanuel Ngulube and USAID: The Malawi Hunger Fight
Emmanuel Ngulube — a Zambian native — has dedicated his life to the Malawi hunger fight. Before Ngulube decided to take on the battle of food insecurity in Malawi, he worked as a program specialist for the USAID in Zambia. Zambia, like many African countries, has experienced devastating natural disasters.

Ngulube acknowledged how fortunate his family was to survive the Zambian drought of 1980, because his “father worked for the mines and he could afford to buy food imported by the government, but others relied on emergency food assistance.” USAID’s Food for Peace mission has allowed Ngulube to find his niche and find creative ways for Malawi to establish strong food security.

The current conditions of Malawi resonated with Ngulube, because of the country’s past and most recent history with natural disasters. A record-breaking flood ripped through Malawi just last year, that left tens of thousands stranded. This year Malawi underwent a terrible drought and vast crop failure due to a warm oceanic phase called El Niño. The aftermath of El Niño left 6.5 million people in a crisis of food insecurity in Malawi.

Since Malawi is consistently plagued with natural disasters, its government has created an advanced technology that has assisted the country and its citizens with predicting natural disasters. Thanks to sufficient financing from the Global Facility for Disaster reduction and Recovery, Malawi has been able to establish the Malawi Disaster Risk Management project.

The Malawi Disaster Risk Management project has “led to advanced disaster preparedness by the country’s citizens, who are better able to predict catastrophic events and, therefore, more effectively prepare for them.”

Being able to prepare for natural disasters before they hit is crucial to Malawian citizens’ survival because the majority of them rely on rain-fed agriculture to make a living. One natural disaster can be the difference between a bountiful harvest and a catastrophic event.

For example, the Shire River Basin — which floods yearly — affects thousands each year and heavily hinders lower income families from recovering from natural disasters.

Malawi has developed an economic vulnerability and Disaster Risk Assessment that indicated “annual flood damage in the Shire River Basin resulted in an average loss of 0.7 percent of GDP ($9 million) per year. Elsewhere in the country, drought caused an average economic loss of 1 percent annually ($13 million).”

Although stopping natural disasters from affecting the country of Malawi is a tall task, Ngulube has fallen in love with helping the local communities create new ways to sustain themselves and recover from the tragic times of the past. Ngulube’s influence can be seen within many communities, whose battle with food insecurity in Malawi has been greatly reduced. Ngulube’s progress has only reassured him that his efforts are making a real difference.

Terry J. Halloran

Photo: Flickr

Education in Malawi
While the availability of schooling has improved, education in Malawi is still hampered by many issues: insufficient funds, high student to teacher ratios, non-mandatory attendance and irregular attendance and high female dropout rates. Exams also act as a barrier to rather than a bridge towards continued schooling.

Schools are short-staffed, and class sizes of more than 100 children make teaching a tiring profession. In June 2016, the Malawi government was forced to rethink their funding for teachers after a teacher’s strike.

The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development provided $16 million in funding to hire 10,500 primary school teachers and 466 secondary school teachers next year.

It is vital that the government invests in children’s education and values teachers. However, as CCTV Africa predicts, the Treasurer might have a difficult time procuring the funds promised without foreign aid.

This is a valid concern because the World Bank has decreased the amount it will spend on education in Malawi; it will spend $44.9 million on education in Malawi within the next four years, only half the amount of aid it gave in previous years.

The previous grant with contributions from Germany, UNICEF, IDA and DfID achieved a great deal in five years. Funds from the grant were used to construct 2,936 classrooms and boarding homes and produce 26 million textbooks.

It also provided more than 80,000 children money for school and allowed 23,550 teachers to be trained to initiate a distance learning program. The dispersal of the upcoming grant from the World Bank will be geared towards early education and education for women.

Education in Malawi is at a turning point. Basic needs and accommodations are met, however, the state must further consider the mental well-being of teachers and students.

Recent revisions of the 2016 academic calendar, released last summer, allots days for holidays and midterm breaks. This keeps morale up and gives students a break from their usually rigorous schedule. The Ministry of Education mandates that this schedule applies to both public and private schools, to ensure a healthy learning environment for all.

Another significant change to the secondary school curriculum will take place. The Junior Certificate of Education (JCE), a test used to gauge an individual’s readiness for the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MCSE), will begin to be phased out. Malawi education officials noted that the test had become an obstruction for young women, who are less likely to pass this test due to poor childhood education.

Thus, the ministry moved to drop the test and allow everyone to advance to Form 3 and 4. In these higher-level classes, female students will have 2 more years to study and prepare for the MCSE, and access a larger selection of classes. This will give more girls the opportunity to continue their educations and complete secondary school in a timely manner.

Amy Whitman

Photo: Flickr