Developing a strategy to address low youth education attendance in Malawi
AuthorsUsi, Michael B.
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThis study explores the complex factors that contribute to low youth education attendance in Malawi. While current education and youth policy is framed in terms of providing access to quality education for all Malawians, this has proved challenging to implement in practice. A qualitative approach involving a range of stakeholders was adopted. 341 respondents participated in one–to-one and group interviews and provided in-depth insights into the issues affecting educational attendance. Data was thematically coded using NVivo and network analysis was used to determine the complexity of the interrelationships of the factors undermining youth attendance. Human capital theory (HCT) underpins the design of the study and the analysis of the data collected; however, HCT alone was insufficient to account for patterns in the data and therefore post-colonial, women's empowerment, motivation, decentralization, corruption and media development theories were used to complement and extend HCT in the analysis undertaken. Furthermore, while, in HCT, education and training are considered strategies for empowering people to make informed choices, enter employment and contribute to personal and national development, a central concern of the Malawian education system is the preparation of young people, and particularly young women, to undertake traditional roles. This study demonstrates that youth, especially young women in rural settings, face many challenges to their remaining in education and achieving employment outcomes beyond traditional expectations. This also limits the potential for wider-ranging social changes and economic development. Examples provided illustrate how sector-wide patterns of educational resourcing and provision, organisational issues, teacher and learner attitudes, and cultural practices interact. Policy formation and evaluation in Malawi are driven by external funder priorities and political expediency rather than being evidence-based. This study, contrastingly, offers an empirical basis for policy formation and decision-making vis-a-vis youth education, and proposes a strategic plan to improve levels of education attendance.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionThesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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