Learners stranded: no teachers in rural schools


As the country’s education sector continues to sail through tough times, this publication has discovered that about 10 primary schools in the northern region are running without qualified teachers.

This is coming at a time the Malawi government is failing to deploy qualified teachers it already trained in various teacher training colleges across the country.


Schools like this one lack teachers.

A spot check our team conducted in Mzimba and Nkhatabay established that in some primary schools, classes were suspended long time ago owing to absence of teachers.

Primary schools like Chithowi, Kang’oma, Mazamba and Chitheka  in Nkhatabay are running without qulified teachers.

In Mzimba, primary schools like Kamalibwe, Chivwi, and Luviro are equally depending on volunteer teachers, most of them unqualified.

“We just help our children ourselves, otherwise, government is yet to send us teachers here. We have tried to reason with education authorities on the issue but to no avail,” said Davis Zgambo, one of the volunteers at Kamalibwe primary school.

Some of the schools depend on student teachers who are posted in such schools for their practicals. But when the student teachers are done, they leave learners hopeless.

The experience according to Thembozawo Chirwa, who has been assisted by volunteer teachers all her primary school, is a setback to academic success.

“We are often sent back home, especially this time when our teachers are busy cultivating their fields. As someone who is preparing to sit for national primary school exams, I’m worried about my academic performance,” she said.

Most other scholars in various rural schools shared the same sentiments. On the other hand, our team further established that the teacher deficit in such schools has fuelled high drop out rates in rural areas.

One of the traditional leaders in the district, Inkosi Kampingo Sibande of Mzimba expressed dismay at the status quo.


Fabiano; We will work towards ending this.

“This is leading to early pregnancies and drug abuse among our children here because in absence of teachers, they have nothing to do at school than smoking and drinking alongside other immoral activities,” he said.

District education managers in the two districts said they are aware of the problems but referred our team to the ministry of education.

In an interview, minister of education, Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano conceded that government has delayed in deploying teachers in rural schools.

“Therefore, we would like to assure you that we are sourcing funds which will enable us to deploy these teachers and train more others. We don’t want to employ them and later fail to meet their welfare that’s why we are trying to work things out, before hiring them,” he said.

Civil Society Education Coalition executive director Benedicto Kondowe described the current state of affairs as distressing.

He said it is unfortunate that government and other stakeholders don’t care about people living in rural areas in as far as education is concerned.

“Something has to be done, if we are serious about the future of our country. Children in rural areas deserve a better future as well,” he said.



  1. Komanso zachuluka ndi izi zama following husband nde onse ali mu town.these policies being implemented are so discouraging.look at the treatment these pple get from above . How do you expect teachers to work to their standards.anakupusitsani ma sir ndi u executive officer ife alonda nde kumaweluka ndi ma jumbotu.inu zs ziiiiiiii

  2. That’s true even in community day secondary schools , they used volunteers to teach form 1 , indeed in rural areas they don’t get quality education.

  3. The problem is our policies! Imagine you have attended your school successifuly,and somebody tells you to go and teach to aplace very far from town no electricity,no good house and when you want to go to the bank you have to spend half of your salary! why dont the government introduce an attractive package for rular teachers? basi mumafuna anaanzanu akafere kumudzi opanda kalikonse azikakhalira ngongore? wake up Malawi its hightime!

  4. The development is really worrisome and very disturbing, so should we say the learners education should wait until they realise funds for the teachers? This is unfair to children in the villages because its like we are denying them their right to education

  5. y my country malawi.talembaniko ntchito aphunzitsi akungokhalawa.it gud at training teachers by failled to employ them.yyyyy?????

  6. malawi 24 mbuzi,atsogoleri mbuzi anthu tose mbuzi chfukwa chowonelera zmenez aphunzitsiwo mbuzi chfukwa chomaphunztsabe while being paid peanut salary SIYANI UPHUNZITSI MUKHALE M’MAGULU NDIKUYAMBITSA MA PVT XULZ boma lilawe ululu

  7. Qualified Teachers ali ku Jon kusanduka ma garden men ; ma care taker ; security personnels ; nkumalandira ma Rand pa Sabata,

  8. Dziko lamawi asogoleri ake onse kumoto kwamulungu ndalama akuthera kugula ma toilet odula 4what pamene mphunzitsi akuvutika ndi kasaraly yolandila mlonda wapabank kuchita kufana ndi mphunzitsi pamene awo kut afike pamene alipo chifukwa cha mphunzisi yemwe akunyozedwayu.

  9. Mwa anthu onse ogwila ntchito m`boma m`phuzisi ndi amene amatengedwa chitsilu chodya choko kumwela ink kugona pa bulaki bodi kusamila dasitala kufunda bukhu. Timayiwala. kuti popanda m`phuzisi palibe u doctor, uproffeser , uloya what ever.

  10. No right to education in rural. Two teachers cant manage 8 clases. This National Reading Programme wl not work In rural school.

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  12. Agundika Kupweteketsa Ana Kumaweruka Mochedwa Ati Apititse Patsogolo Maphunziro, This Is Torture And Abuse Kwa Ana. Mmalo Mopanga Motivate Aphunzitsi Ndikupanga Ensure Kut Xool Iliyonse Ikhale Ndima Qualified Teachers Of Mayb Ova 5, Akupweteketsa Ana Ndi Njala, Useless Policies & Stupid Adminstn

    • Akakhala kuma office kwawoko sayamba afunsana Kaye nzeru….a mangokhazikitsa zinthu osafufuza zotsatira zake. Ana akukomoka nzisukulumu kamba koonjezera nthawi yowelukira

  13. Not Only In Mzimba But Also In Chikwawa Especially At Bereu And Mkumaniza Girls Are Selling Their Body Toget Upkeep For Buying Their Needs

  14. In each district in Malawi u’ll find that there is really shortage of teacher i.e to my area i havent seen any primary xul with 7 or 8 qualified teachers if they’re 5 it means that they are so many & i wonder if it is true that the education standard is @ higher level,think ov it the one’s who are responsible for these issues

    • Its not poor management, amathawako wokha atumbuka kumeneko. Just imagine how many teachers who are tumbuka are stuck in the central and southern regions? Umfiti munyanya mchifukwa chake mumathawako kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  15. sikumpoto kokha mavuto awa ali palipose,ngakhaleso mma commmunity secondary schools aphunzitsi ndi ochepa amene alipowoso si aliso well qualified,akungomtenga munthu oti amaphunzitsa std1 kuprimary kukamaphunzitsa kusecondary,maphunziro abwino adapita ndi kamuzi..

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