A chronic shortage of teachers in Malawi means many students don’t get the support they need. Without female focused support and role models in schools, many girls miss the opportunity to fulfil their potential, and the number of girls going into teaching never improves. The Malawi Access into Teaching Scholarship project offers young women in rural areas of Malawi a second chance at a teaching career.
Many girls in Malawi have completed secondary school, but have not received enough support to achieve the grades needed for a teacher education programme. This pathway into teaching offers girls two methods of support:
A one year upgrade course via distance learning prepares the girls to retake their secondary school leaving exams and prepare for application to teacher training. Distance learning means girls can stay with their families and gives people in rural areas the same access.
Girls also gain first hand classroom experience through a Teaching Assistant placement in a local primary school supported by a mentor from the school’s teaching staff and accompanied by a School Experience handbook.
Building on a pilot of 1,000 study places funded by the Scottish Government Development Office, close to 2000 young women of secondary school leaving age are currently studying as KGIS Scholars. In classroom placements in their own communities, these women will provide mentoring and inspiration to an estimated 160,000 girls over the life of the project.
Part of Keeping Girls in School, a UK aid programme supporting various projects in Malawi, the project is delivered in partnership with a local NGO, Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWEMA), through which the project reaches around 400 rural primary schools. The project is endorsed by the Malawi Government.