Malawi has an 8-4-4 education system consisting
of primary school, secondary
school and university education. The educations
system in Malawi faces many challenges in most areas including areas of
access, equity, quality and internal efficiency. In its publication; A
Policy and Investiment Framework for Education in Malawi 1995-2005,
the Ministry of Education has covered most of these challenges and problems
and also outlined government policy being put in place to address them.
Most children start formal education at primary
school at the age of six. The primary school takes 8 years from Standard
1 to 8 at the end of which pupils write the Primary School Leaving
Certificate examinations. These are jointly set, conducted and marked
by the Ministry of Education and the Malawi Nationnal Examinations Board
(MANEB). Students have to pass and get selected if they are to attend
secondary school education in a governement secondary school.
The introduction of Free Primary Education in Malawi
has seen a large increase in the number of pupils going to primary school
but this increase in access has also brought major infrastructure problems
and a big decline in quality.
Secondary school education takes 4 years from Form
1 to Form 4. Students can attend seecondary school in public schools run
by the goivernment or in private schools run by the private sector and
individuals. The quality of secondary education varies widely inn both
sets of schools. In generaly, fess in private schools is more than 50
times that in public schools. For along time, secondary education
was very restrictive in Malawi but this situation is changing positively
due to rapid expansion of private schools as well as government run community
day secondary schools. A directory of schools in Malawi will be presented
here in the near future.
Students in secondary schools sit two examinations,
a Junior Certicate Examination (JCE) at Form 2 and a Malawi School Certificate
Examination (MSCE) at Form 4. Both of these examinations are set by MANEB
but joiuntly administered by MANEB and the Ministry of Education. Performance
or pass rate at MSCE have been falling sharply in the last few years reaching
a low of around 16% in 1999 prompting a Presidential Commission of Enquiry
into the dismal performance. In these recent years MSCE administration
has been beset with many serious cheating cases resulting in governemnet
canncellation of the examination in 2000 less than one week before commencement
of sitting and dismisal of the head of MANEB.
Selection takes place at Form 4 to various colleges
including vocational colleges, technical colleges and to the only two
universities, the University of Malawi and the University of Mzuzu.
The Univeristy of Malawi, opened in 1965, offers
a wide range of bachelors degree and a few masters degree courses through
its 5 constituent colleges widely spread out in the Central and Southern
Regions of Malawi. The recently opened Mzuzu University situated in the
Northen Region, offers an education degree course but has plans to open
other areas of training in the near future. Most students to the University
of Malawi are government sponsored on full scholarships. This is changing
in 2001 as the University has announced a significant increase in fees
in a measure to increase cost-sharing and improve its dwindling resources
that come from government to run its programmes. The University of Mzuzu
started out with nearly fully economic fees from its very begining in
Other oportunities do exist in Malawi for
children who need to attend school. Kindergartens are available in urban
centres where children can attend pre-school tuition in the ages 0-6 years.
Almost all these are run by private individuals or organisations.
A few private high schools are available
mostly in Kasungi, Blantyre and Lilongwe that run British style A-Level
courses and examinations. However most of these require fees which are
well outside the reachability of almost all Malawians.
| Schools | Colleges
| University |
of Education |