Minister Grace Chiumia delivering opening remarks at the International Conference on Building Adult Education Systems in African Contexts in Lilongwe.

International Literacy Day Malawi

DVV International Regional Director for Southern Africa David Harrington speaking at the public consultation on the development of the Adult Literacy and Education Policy.

Participants at the DVV International Conference on Building Adult Education Systems in African Contexts Lilongwe-Salima, Malawi.

DVV International workshop with CSOs on A Holistic Approach to Achieving SDG4 during Global Action Week for Education. 

DVV International officially opened its Regional Office for Southern Africa in Malawi and launched its activities in the country in December, 2017. The launch was officiated by Grace Obama Chiumia, the Honourable Minister for Civic Education, Culture and Community Development, the branch of the Government that oversees adult education in Malawi through the National Centre for Literacy and Adult Education (NACLAE). The adult illiteracy rate in Malawi is currently estimated to be around 34.25% for a population that consists of more than 60% youth.

The Regional Office for Southern Africa oversees DVV International's work in three countries in the region - Malawi, South Africa and Mozambique.

Main Focus of DVV International's Work in Malawi

DVV International's work is guided by 3 main objectives:

Adult Education Offers are Improved and Expanded (Micro Level): 

DVV promotes innovative participatory methodologies of community learning that respond to the needs of youth and adult learners. Among these are Community Learning Centres (CLCs). CLCs are multipurpose hubs for acquiring knowledge on various skills and developmental issues. DVV is in the process of supporting ALE activities in 3 CLCs set up under the Bridge Africa Programme supported by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU) through the Malawi National Commission for UNESCO in 3 CLCs based in Mwera in Lilongwe District, Naphini in Zomba and Namiyango in Blantyre. 

Other innovative approaches include REFLECT (Regenerated Freirean Literacy for Empowering Community Techniques), which empowers local communities to work together to explore and implement local solutions to educational and community development. REFLECT is being supported with 7 youth clubs under the Zolokere Youth Club in Hewe, Rumphi District in the north of the country.

The Integrated Adult Education Programme (IAE) first developed and implemented by DVV in Mozambique is also being adapted to the Malawian context and will be implemented from 2019. This approach integrates literacy and numeracy acquisition with knowledge and skills acquisition in various fields such as agriculture, fisheries, health, nutrition, small businesses, etc. As a result of the significant success of the approach in Mozambique, the decision was made to expand it to Malawi.

Partners and Networks in Malawi are Strengthened in their Institutional Capacity (Meso Level): 

The focus of this level is on advocacy and training CSOs on the links between SDG4 and YALE seeing as most education centred organisations have invested their efforts in ECD and primary education, sidelining AE.

ALE receives greater recognition in policies, poverty reduction strategies and budgets at local and national level (Macro Level): 

DVV Malawi has committed with relevant stakeholders to advocate for policy change, poverty reduction strategies and budgets at local and national level. It is worth noting that currently, Malawi has no AE policy in play.

Currently DVV has taken a lead role in influencing and supporting the review and adoption of the National Adult Literacy and Life Long Learning Policy. The Policy has been in draft form for over 15 years. Since December 2017, DVV International has supported review of the policy; provided technical support to the policy development process drawing from its global experience spanning over 45 years; and supported the institutionalisation of a task force that is taking a lead role the review and finalisation of the policy.

On the 25th October 2018, DVV International supported the Malawi government to hold a public consultation workshop bringing together various government ministries and CSOs to input into the policy development process.

Following the public consultation, the Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development facilitated a validation meeting on 10th May 2019 where government ministry principal secretaries provided final input before submission to the Cabinet for approval. It is expected that the policy will be adopted in before the end of 2019. 

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