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Highly-trained teachers for rural Malawi

Unesco’s last education report highlights the important progress made by DAPP Malawi’s training teaching program in favor of the rural areas of the country

UNESCO’s 2013 Education for All global monitoring report warns that the shortage of qualified teachers has led to a global learning crisis that may affect several generations of children. Only by attracting and adequately training enough teachers, it will be possible to put an end to a crisis that is costing governments $129 billion a year.

Among other findings, the report highlights the benefits made by DAPP Malawi’s teacher training program in rural areas of the country. Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) –Humana People to People’s member organization- has since 2006 established four teacher education colleges in rural districts which have graduated a total of approximately 1,163 new teachers to date. “DAPP’s training programs emphasize the integration of theory and subject content, the practical application of teaching skills, student-led research and reflection, community outreach and social development”, explains the report. Additionally, all students carry out extensive teaching practice in nearby primary schools and the curriculum is directly oriented towards the fight against poverty, relevant to the local context, practical and flexible.

The report stresses that DAPP Malawi’s teacher training program has been particularly beneficial in encouraging young women to become rural teachers. 87% of female students in the program said they would opt for a rural post, compared with 67% of those in government colleges.

In a country where the youth literacy rate is 87% and the adult literacy rate is 75%, motivated teachers are making a difference and striving to meet the United Nations’ primary education Millennium Development Goals by 2015. “Teachers have the future of this generation in their hands,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “We need 5.2 million teachers to be recruited by 2015, and we need to work harder to support them in providing children with their right to a universal, free and quality education. We must also make sure that there is an explicit commitment to equity in new global education goals set after 2015, with indicator tracking the progress of the marginalized so that no one is left behind.”

To become a teacher in Malawi, students must pass the Malawi National Examination Board’s (MANEB) rigorous assessment test. While student teachers graduating from public teacher training colleges in Malawi have a pass rate in the 90th percentile, the DAPP teacher training colleges have been able to achieve a 100% pass rate.

DAPP Malawi has more than 18 years of experience working together with national government, local authorities, private corporations and communities in order to implement development projects which enhance the social and economic environment in the rural areas of the country. In addition to education, project areas include agriculture, vocational training, care for orphans and vulnerable children, basic health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and community development. DAPP Malawi currently operates 13 programs and employs more than 700 people.

Click here to read the full 2013/4 Education for All Global Monitoring Report: