Despite the introduction of free primary education in Malawi in 1994, net enrolment has remained at 78% because parents and guardians cannot afford school uniforms, writing materials and the school funds required for the maintenance of school assets. Only 58% of the population is literate, with a 64% male and a 44% female literacy rate. 11.2% of the adults over 25 years of age have completed primary school education and only 6.2% of women and 13% of men have secondary education.
Street children are unable to attend school without uniform or support. Chimwemwe has already assisted over 20 children to return back to school. Those children have been provided with school uniforms, school funds and writing materials. For those in secondary schools, Chimwemwe has paid for text books, school fees, and school funds. 70% of them have passed their end of term exams.
Chimwemwe will support children in education in the following ways:
Support for formal learning
- Encouraging children to register in government schools in their communities, and assist those who are in places of safety to enrol back in schools, according to a plan worked out with the child
- Making at least fortnightly visits to families of newly registered children and monthly to others, to continue counselling, to review progress and see class work so as to provide encouragement
- Making at least monthly visits to the schools attended by Chimwemwe children to monitor progress, attendance and behaviour
- Carrying out advocacy meetings with teachers in schools where a number of Chimwemwe children are attending to strengthen an understanding on the part of the teachers and retention on the part of the children
- Carrying out an educational needs assessment of Chimwemwe children to identify those needing special support through individual assistance, either as high achievers or with learning difficulties
- Continuing to liaise with the government to develop more opportunities for children to gain secondary school places after completion of primary schooling
- Joining and participating in Civil Society Coalition to improve the quality of basic education