Abolishing School Fees in Africa is the product of a SFAI workshop, “School Fee Abolition: Building on What We Know and Defining Sustained Support,” held in Kenya in 2006. The book begins with a comparative overview of the processes, challenges, and lessons learned by five countries that had already abolished school fees: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique. The subsequent chapters delineate the actual experiences of each of the countries in planning and implementing their policies.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) restrictions on recurrent government spending are working against the MDGs, and Education for All, this report argues. Through research with the governments of Malawi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, this study shows that IMF-imposed macroeconomic policies and explicit caps on teachers’ wage bills have forced many poor countries to freeze or curtail teacher recruitment, and are a major factor behind the chronic and severe shortage of teachers.

The report documents how child marriage prevents girls and women from participating in all spheres of life and how the practice violates their rights, including the right to education. It is based on in-depth interviews with 80 girls and women in six districts in southern and central Malawi. Interviews were also conducted with government officials, magistrates, child protection workers, police officers in charge of child protection, social welfare officers, traditional and religious leaders, health workers, teachers, legal and women’s rights experts, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, the United Nations, and donor organizations.
 
The report describes factors contributing to child marriage, the severe consequences of child marriage, the risks that girls face when they resist these marriages, and the abuses they frequently face in marriage. It also examines the absence of protection for victims of child marriage and the many obstacles they face in attempting to obtain redress; as well as shortcomings in existing programs to combat child marriage.
 
The report reviews Malawi's laws and international obligations on child marriage as well as on the right to education and makes concrete recommendations to the Malawi government.
 

The government of Malawi should increase efforts to end widespread child and forced marriage, or risk worsening poverty, illiteracy, and preventable maternal deaths in the country.
According to government statistics, half of the girls in Malawi will be married by their 18th birthday, with some as young as age 9 or 10 being forced to marry. Malawi faces many economic challenges, but the rights of girls and women, including the right to education, should not be sacrificed as a result.

 

 

 

 

 

This country factsheet on Malawi intends to assist practitioners to identify the key national policies relevant to the right to education, analyse their strengths and weaknesses and detect the gaps between policies and practice, in order to use the empirical data collected to define a human rights advocacy strategy.

It provides an overview of: the obligations of the government to realise the right to education; the instruments (policies, budget…) and mechanisms (commissions, courts…) that exist in the country to implement the right to education; recommendations made by various national and international stakeholders (UN Agencies, NGOs…) on the right to education. This factsheet does not give a comprehensive overview of the policies in the country, but only a snapshot of some key aspects affecting the right to education.