Situated in Southern Africa, the Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country, sharing borders with Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. Soon after declaring independence the British in July 1964, the country was ruled by Dr Hastings Banda who presided over a one-party state for the next three decades. In 1994, Bakili Muluzi of the United Democratic Front was elected president in the country’s first ever multi-party elections. Occupying roughly 118,000 square kilometres, Malawi’s main exports are tobacco, tea, sugar and cotton. According to the UN, life expectancy for men and women in the country is approximately 55 years and GDP growth in 2012 was 1.8 per cent. In 2015, Malawi ranked 170 out of 188 other countries and territories on the UN’s Human Development Index.

source(s): UNESCO EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/14

Main Barriers to Education

  • Poverty
  • Lack of schools & sanitation facilities
  • Childhood marriage
  • Civil unrest

Interventions to Barriers

  • School construction
  • Provision of learning materials
  • Community engagement
  • Training parent leaders

The Government of Malawi has taken on the issue of reforming the country’s education sector seriously and made some noted gains. For instance, between 2008 and 2013, primary-school enrolment increased by 16 per cent at an average annual growth rate of 4 per cent. Furthermore, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has elaborated the Education Sector Implementation Plan II to address questions of quality, improve management/resource delivery and reach marginalised children.

In spite of Malawi’s progress expanding access to primary education, the country’s education sector is still beset with challenges. Official data indicates that as recently as 2013, the average primary student to classroom ratio was 124:1, which is a marked increase from years prior. Though the country has made strides with regard to the percentage of trained primary-level teachers in service, the figures, after a steep decline in 2011, have not since fully recovered the lost ground. The student to qualified teacher ratio in 2013 was a formidable 95:1. Moreover, the sector faces multi-dimensional challenges, such as inadequate school facilities, low learning achievement and a capacity deficit in school management capabilities.

In support of OOSC, EAC has partnered with buildOn to increase access to quality primary education. To that end, buildOn will prioritise: community and parental engagement through outreach and training; the construction of new primary schools across the country; and the establishment of government partnerships to provide teachers with learning materials and supplies.

Geographic Location: Southern Africa

Languages: English (official), Chichewa, Chilambya, Chilomwe, Chingoni, Chinkhonde, Chinyakyusa, Chinyanja, Chisena, Chitonga, Chitumbuka, Chiyao


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Enrol OOSC Project: Break the Cycle of Poverty

Enrol OOSC Project: Break the Cycle of Poverty

Through a partnership dating back to 2014, EAC and buildOn have been collaborating in a number of countries all around the world to support access to quality primary education for some of the most marginalised out of school children. At this juncture, the joint Enrol OOSC Project is operational 7 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean aiming to enrol 159,211 children, in addition to the more than 55,000 OOSC previously reached.
OOSC under UNHCR’s Mandate are Provided Access to Quality Equitable Primary Education

OOSC under UNHCR’s Mandate are Provided Access to Quality Equitable Primary Education

Since its inception in 2012, EAC and UNHCR have been working together in countries across the globe to increase access to quality primary education for some of the most disadvantaged out of school children. At the moment, the joint Mandate Project is active in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East seeking to enrol an additional 364,857 children.
Remote Rural Schools Construction

Remote Rural Schools Construction

Successfully Completed Project

The Remote Rural Schools Construction project aims to inspire, partner with, and train more than 78,000 parents in rural and isolated villages in past (buildOn) and future project locations to be active participants in improving the quality of, and access to, education for 43,056 OOSC and 117,264 children at-risk of dropping out of primary school.



For more than two decades, buildOn has partnered with local governments and mobilized rural villages in some of the poorest countries on the planet to build more than 618 schools in Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Senegal. In February 2014, they broke ground on their first school in Burkina Faso.