2nd grade teacher Ireen Tembo at the blackboard at Mpingu Primary School. Malawi, September 2016.  Credit: GPE/Govati Nyirenda

Partner since:

Total grant support: US$203,226,969

Grant eligibility:

  • Multiplier
  • Girls' Education Accelerator
  • System capacity
  • System transformation

Education sector plan

Objective: Expand equitable access to education, improve quality and relevance of education, and improve governance and management.

Other key documents

Transforming education in Malawi

Education in Malawi has experienced tangible progress. The primary school enrollment increased by 16% between 2008 and 2013 at an average annual growth rate of 4%. Yet, the sector faces multidimensional challenges such as inadequate school facilities, high pupil-teacher ratios, low learning achievement and huge capacity gap in school inspection and supervision.

To highlight few examples, more than 70% of eligible children do not have access to any form of early childhood education, the average primary student to classroom ratio increased from 105:1 in 2011/2012 to 124:1 in 2012/13, the pupil qualified teacher ratio worsened from 92:1 in 2011/12 to 95:1 in 2012/13, and the pass rates for the Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education (PSLCE) have been declining each year between 2006/07 and 2011/12 from 74.4% in 2006 to 68.9% in 2011.

To address these issues, Malawi has developed its Education Sector Implementation Plan II (2013/14–2017/18), which consists of five sub-sectors with their respective key objectives:

  1. Basic education encompasses early childhood development, complementary basic education that allows marginalized, out of school children and adults to access basic education, and general primary education. It aims to:
    • Ensure that 50% of children reach standard 4 literacy/numeracy by 2017,
    • Make teaching and learning materials available, and ensure that textbooks are not only available, but also optimally used,
    • Make additional classrooms available,
    • Ensure inclusion of all learners,
    • Attain a motivated and high-performing teaching staff
    • Increase internal efficiency of primary education, and
    • Improve management/resource delivery.
  2. Secondary education aims to:
    • Increase access,
    • Improve quality and equity of secondary schools by narrowing the gap between conventional secondary schools and community day secondary schools,
    • Improve secondary school management.
  3. Primary and secondary teacher training aims to:
    • Enhance the quality of primary teacher training,
    • Improve access to secondary teacher training,
    • Improve quality of secondary teacher training.
  4. Technical and vocational education and higher education aim to:
    • Increase access to technical colleges,
    • Make technical colleges more adequate to the needs of the labor market,
    • Provide a more coordinated policy and regulatory framework,
    • Ensure quality of higher education,
    • Improve financial resource mobilization, and
    • Introduce a comprehensive management information system.
    • Support services, which include system governance, management, policy development, and inspection and advisory services. Their main objective is to ensure that services be planned, budgeted and delivered on time

The plan addresses also three crosscutting issues: special needs, school health and nutrition, and gender.

Over the last five years, the government of Malawi has shown continued commitment to the education sector with the allocation of over 20% of the national budget towards education.

Result story

Safe learning in Malawi during COVID-19

Read how Malawi is implementing COVID-19 preventative measures in schools with the support from GPE.


(data as of July 16, 2024)

  • Type: System capacity

    Years: 2023 - 2027

    Allocation: US$250,000

    Utilization: US$141,554

    Grant agent: UNICEF

  • Type: Program implementation and Multiplier

    Years: 2022 - 2026

    Allocation: US$57,200,000

    Utilization: US$13,997,461

    Grant agent: WB

Civil society engagement

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting:

  • The Civil Society Education Coalition for the 2020-2023 period. This builds on previous support from the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF).
  • Transnational Networks Advocacy Capacity strengthened for improved ECDE legislation, policies and measures in Southern Africa (TRANAC) led by Zimbabwe Network of Early Childhood Development (ZINECDA) for the 2021-2023 period.
  • Addressing the learning crisis through system strengthening led by Global Integrity for the 2021-2024 period.
  • Girls Education Advocacy in the Region (GEAR) led by Students And Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) for the 2021-2024 period.
  • Pamodzi for Inclusive Education in South-East Africa (PIESEA) led by Rays of Hope for the 2021-2024 period.

Learn more

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