Malawi is in urgent need of primary school teachers. According to UNESCO, student-teacher ratios are among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, with only one teacher on average for a class of 69 students. Nearly 154,000 more teachers are needed by 2030 to reach the goal of universal primary education. On the brighter side, the recruitment of female teachers is making steady progress; today, approximately 40% of teachers are women.
Humana People to People supports its local member, DAPP Malawi, in operating four teacher-training colleges. The colleges have produced a total of approximately 1,518 new teachers to date. In 2006, DAPP Malawi signed a memorandum of understanding with the government to establish and operate a total of six teacher-training colleges nationwide, which when completed will graduate 1,000 teachers annually for placement in rural areas. Three of the colleges (Chilangoma, Amalika, and Dowa) have been completed and are in operation. A fourth college in the Mzimba District has admitted its first class of students.
The Chilangoma campus opened in 2003, followed by the Amalika college campus in 2008. The Dowa College is the newest, having just graduated its first class in 2012.
The colleges each cooperate with between 10-15 primary schools and between 35-50 preschools in the neighboring region. They also conduct outreach to neighboring villages and are centers of learning, offering community lessons ranging from adult literacy to farming techniques and health. DAPP Malawi’s teacher training program has received support from the USDA via Planet Aid through the Food for Progress Program.
DAPP Malawi has more than 18 years of experience implementing development programs in rural areas of Malawi, closely cooperating with local authorities, the national government, and a range of international partners. 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.