The official languages are English and Chichewa. Five other major African languages are spoken. The presence of the national language Chichewa has proven to be an advantage for building a modern state and as an integration bridge between the ethnic groups. The fact that Malawians of all ethnicities can communicate with one another increases the chances of integration. The policy practiced since 1994 to use the other languages as the language of instruction in the respective language regions has not damaged the character of the “lingua franca”, since Chichewa instruction is compulsory from the first grade onwards.
The structure of the education system is based on the British model. According to internetsailors, the primary school lasts eight years, followed by the secondary school, which has to be completed as a secondary school for four years. While primary education is free in state schools, a number of fees apply to secondary education. There are also numerous private primary and secondary schools, some with significantly better equipment and teaching staff. Only better-off Malawians can afford school fees. Basic education is a priority of government policy. There are numerous disparities in education. Also are the financial resources insufficient for the education sector despite the significant commitment of donors. The public education sector is in crisis. As a development partner, Germany has been involved in the basic education sector for years. It is not uncommon for there to be irregularities in the central exams, which then result in expensive repetitions of the relevant exams across the country. The Kamuzu Academy is of historical importance, which was established by the dictator Kamuzu Banda in 1981 in his birthplace in Kasungu. The prestigious private school has been financed by school fees since democratization. The National Education Sector Plan 2008-17 and the implementation plan give a good overview of the educational field. However, the results are mixed. Schooling for girls still faces considerable challenges. The World Bank has devoted a detailed report to the education system.
The country has one larger university, the University of Malawi, with colleges in Zomba (Chancellor College), Blantyre and Lilongwe. These include the College of Medicine and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), the former Bunda College of Agriculture. There is a smaller university in the northern city of Mzuzu (Mzuzu University). The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), established in Thyolo, the home district of ex-President Bingu wa Mutharika, opened in 2014. There are also a number of private universities, such as the Catholic University. An overview The DAAD offers.
The Center for Social Research of the University of Malawi deserves special mention, which also has a list of publications on its website.
UNICEF is running a pilot project in the education sector in Malawi. In addition to the classic subjects, the Living Schools are designed to give students skills in the areas of environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources. They are involved in the design of their respective schools and report live on their everyday school life.
Books and publications on politics, society, theology, history and culture have appeared for many years in the Kachere Series, edited by professors at Chancellor College. Books can also be ordered online.
The training is pronounced only rudimentary.
Malawi has a low rate of urbanization. Only 16.0% of the population live in cities, which has almost doubled since 1975. Although cities are growing, they are less due to significant rural exodus and more to higher birth rates and better health care. Urban life is expensive and not free from calamities, like the collapse of illegal structures. Above all, food is also expensive. It is therefore risky to relocate with no prospect of work or income. Since the traditional village structures with their large family groups are still largely intact, life in one’s own village is safer than fleeing to the city. Agriculture also offers employment opportunities for young people. This has largely prevented the formation of slums in the cities.
The growing urban population leads to a shortage of (affordable) living space and also to the development of green spaces.