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Title: Education for all in Malawi : the problems and possibilities for girls' schooling
Author: Munthali, Josephine Joy
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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The importance of female literacy as a prerequisite for development has been acknowledged internationally by governments and aid donor agencies. The correlation between education and socio-economic development continues to be the chief incentive to promoting female literacy. It is accepted therefore that education provides positive values and skills for personal development and empowerment of women, in addition to supporting national development. Despite these positive returns, many developing countries are still experiencing an increase in illiteracy among women. At the Jomtien Conference (1990) the importance of universal education was delineated in the policy Education for All (EFA). Indeed, EFA is seen as a strategy for introducing children, especially girls, to conventional schooling. Whilst some progress has been made, retention of girls in schools presents a major obstacle to the fulfilment of the EFA vision, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malawi presents a case study for the attainment of the objectives implicit in EFA policies. The impetus for this research therefore emerges from a concern about the quality and sustainability of educational programmes for female education. Through a review of discourses surrounding educational developments in Malawi between 1875 to 1994 and an analysis of the policy of free primary education (FPE) from 1994 onwards, this thesis explores the impact of these policies on girls' schooling. Through qualitative methods of semi-structured interviews, focus groups and participatory observations, research findings reveal that girls have not enrolled or remained at school in as great numbers as boys. This is the case both at primary and secondary levels. It was found that religion, ethnicity, economic and political factors have conspired to inhibit the education and development of female school children. The interrogation of EFA in this thesis concludes that the move towards the provision of FPE policy is being constrained due to a number of historical factors. The impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is also affecting the progress in the education sector. This research contributes to knowledge that EFA can be achieved but requires suitable provision of quality education and by drawing stakeholders into identifying problems that hinder pupils in taking full advantage of FPE/EFA.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available