Barriers to education in Malawi
Asiyireni, from Malawi, dropped out of secondary school because her parents couldn’t afford the school fees. She's since married and had four children. Now she’s working hard to ensure her children are educated.
Through different farming interventions by World Vision, Asiyireni and her family are improving their income and livelihoods through a mix of different small-scale technologies like irrigation.
“World Vision has been helping us to improve our farming,” says Asiyireni as she sits with her nine-year-old son Phillip. “So, we have been working hard in the garden where we produce maize, beans and pigeon peas for home use and for sale, so that our children can be healthy as well as have all they need for school and a better future.”
But when COVID-19 hit, the local market where they sell their produce often closed. “Schools closed on 20 March in 2020 and my children were all home. I was afraid that they’d be out of school for a long time and possibly miss out on their education,” says Asiyireni.
According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) data, at the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, over 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries were out of school.
No access to remote learning
Vulnerable and marginalised learners like Asiyireni’s children were hit the hardest. While efforts were made to provide online lessons, more than 60 percent of primary and secondary school learners in Malawi did not have access to remote learning resources during school closures.