UNESCO recently published its 11th Education for All Global Monitoring Report. The report is an update on progress that countries are making towards the global education goals that were agreed upon in 2000. It also makes a powerful case for placing education at the heart of the global development agenda after 2015.
Included among the many topics in the report is a review of the DNS program in Malawi, which is being implemented by DAPP Malawi at four teacher training colleges. The UNESCO report underscores the success of the program, particularly with respect to its ability to recruit and train more female teachers.
"The programme has been particularly beneficial in encouraging young women to train as rural teachers. Of the female students in the programme, 80% found that school practice topics prepared them adequately for teaching in rural areas, compared with 38% of female students in government colleges. Furthermore, 87% of female students in the programme said they would opt for a rural post, compared with 67% of those in government colleges." —UNESCO 2013/4 EFA Global Monitoring Report
UNESCO also reported that 72% of the DNS trainees identified the school practice component as the area of study that most prepared them for teaching in rural areas. Moreover, the report indicated that 80% of the trainees gained experience in how to provide remedial support to students, compared with just 14% in government colleges. This additional experience was deemed crucial and a key advantage of the DNS approach. The report concluded that: "Given the large numbers of rural children needing such support, government colleges need to learn from the programme to ensure that all trainee teachers acquire the skills to teach in areas where they are most needed."