Improving Education Quality in Community Day Secondary Schools (IEQ - CDSS)


Malawi introduced Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSSs) two decades ago, in order to increase access to education for all. To date, many marginalized youths enrol , however, quality learning experiences in CDSSs remain uncommon - fewer complete and most get out without mastery in English and employability skills (EMIS 2015).

Constraints to quality secondary education in CDSS include: poverty, long distance to school, poor teaching and learning processes due to under qualified teachers. poor infrastructure, lack of teaching and learning materials, poor school management and limited implementation of policies - these barriers have gendered implications. These challenges are coupled with low government funding to CDSS

For example, in 2014/15 financial year, only 2% of Secondary Education funding went to CDSSs Yet majority of secondary school students attend CDSSs. Learning outcomes are poor at CDSS, with less than 20% of candidates passing. Rural, poor youths are greatly marginalized at secondary level, and being female, poor and rural is a triple handicap.

The Creative Centre for Community Mobilisation (CRECCOM) is proposing to build on and extend its existing work which it has been piloting in Thyolo for two years on youth development, teacher training and school management; and twenty years of experience in empowering communities to increase secondary school retention and completion rate for youth in rural Malawi.

IEQ - CDSS is a project which stems out from government's efforts to improve quality of education in all its schools at all levels. Working through a national level working group and school-based interventions, IEQ - CDSS will contribute by informing government of the best practices and workable interventions.