Education in Malawi

Joined Commonwealth: 1964

Population: 15,906,000 (2012)

GDP p.c. growth: 0.7% p.a. 1990–2012

UN HDI 2012: World ranking 170

Net primary enrolment: 97% (2009)

Net secondary enrolment: 29.5% (2012)

Gross tertiary enrolment: 0.8% (2011)

Adult literacy: 61.3% (2010)

Public spending on education was 5 per cent of GDP in 2011.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) is the government agency for education policy, management and development in Malawi. Under MoEST, the Department of Teacher Education and Development (DTED) is concerned with the continual professional development of teachers in order to effectively deliver quality education at all levels. The Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB) is responsible for developing, administering and processing valid and reliable national examinations for professional certification in Malawi.

There are eight years of compulsory education starting at age six. Primary school comprises eight years and secondary four, with two cycles each of two years. Some 49.1 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2011). The school year starts in January.

The University of Malawi comprises Chancellor College (located at Zomba); the College of Medicine (Blantyre); the Bunda College of Agriculture (Lilongwe); and the Polytechnic (Blantyre). Mzuzu University (opened in 1999) and University of Livingstonia (2003, with campuses in Livingstonia and Ekwendeni) are located in the Northern Region. The female–male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 0.6:1 (2011). Literacy among people aged 15–24 is 72.1 per cent (2010).