Care Malawi has said acute shortage of female teachers is hampering girls’ education in the country, especially in rural areas.
Care Malawi assistant country director Francis Luwanda said this on Tuesday at Nyemba Primary School in Traditional Authority Chidzuma in Kasungu when his organisation handed over to the district nine houses worth about K27 million (about $80 000) meant for female teachers.
Luwanda said shortage of teacher houses has a direct effect on the pupil-teacher ratio.
According to a 2011 education management information system (Emis) bulletin, the average teacher-house ratio for Kasungu is 3:1 while at national level it is 4:1.
“In a number of primary schools in the rural areas, one can hardly find a female teacher and this only entails that there are no role models for our girls,” said Luwanda.
He said lack of role models discourages most girls from completing primary education and transitioning to secondary school.
“Culturally, girls are free to express problems they face to female teachers. In fact, if these problems are not addressed, they negatively affect the girl-child,” he said.
Luwanda said his organisation is implementing a Join My Village Programme to construct houses in rural schools in the district.
Deputy district education manager Evelyn Mjima attributed the shortage of female teachers in most rural areas to unwillingness of the teachers to stay in such areas.
“Most female teachers, especially those that are not yet married, turn down postings to schools located in rural areas because they fear the environment there will make them not attract marriage partners,” she said.
Since the launch of Join My Village Programme in 2009, Care Malawi has constructed 23 female teacher houses in the district.—Mana