PRACTICAL ASSISTANCE FOR DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN IN MALAWI AND THEIR FAMILIES
ChildCare Malawi is unable to register with the Charity Commission because our annual income is less than £5,000. However, we are registered as
a Small Charity with HMRC, which entitles us to claim Gift Aid on eligible donations.
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Access to education
Children in Malawi officially start school at the age of six in Standard 1 and complete their primary education at the age of thirteen in Standard 8, although education is not compulsory and approximately ten percent of children are not enrolled in school at all. Class sizes typically range from 60 to 100 mixed ability pupils per teacher and it is common for children of different ages to be taught together, sometimes outside under a tree if there are insufficient classrooms available. Some children start school late and others may miss or repeat one or more academic years due to illness, family responsibilities or lack of resources. Although tuition is free in government primary schools, extra costs, such as shoes and uniform, put education beyond the means of many of the poorest families. UNICEF estimates that only about a quarter of children complete the full eight years at primary school and only about fifteen percent of those who do so are girls.
For those who manage to pass their final exams in Standard 8 and are selected for a place at secondary school, there follows another four years of studying beginning in Form 1. However, school fees must be paid in all secondary schools and students usually have to walk long distances to get to them, significantly impacting attendance figures. Many teenagers drop out of school altogether in order to supplement the family income or get married. The national shortage of fully qualified teachers and suitable classrooms sadly results in a generally poor standard of education
▲ It is difficult to concentrate in large classes, but children often walk long distances to attend school. Wearing uniform is encouraged, but not always compulsory in more rural areas.
What you could do to help
★ An annual donation of £23 would provide a child at primary school with shoes, school uniform and educational materials for three terms.
★ We also welcome contributions towards our reserve fund to cover the cost of secondary education or vocational training as appropriate.