Teaching English in Malawi

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How to Begin Teaching in Malawi

Known for its sandy beaches and unspoilt islands spread through the vast Lake Malawi

Known as the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi is friendly and welcoming, if poor. It is an agricultural country and heavily dependent on foreign aid so there is a large expat community with foreigners coming to work as diplomats, NGO workers and government officials. Malawi held its first democratic elections in 1994 and since then there have been marked improvements in healthcare, education and environmental conditions.

But Malawi is so much more than its economic situation. Though a landlocked country, Malawi is able to offer its visitors numerous golden sand beaches and exciting watersports, all thanks to the famous Lake Malawi. Not a traditional game park destination, Malawi is focussing more on its conservation efforts and the newly-rehabilitated Majete Wildlife Reserve is where you want to go to see the Big Five in their natural habitat, safe from poachers. Or if you’re looking to really get away from it all, you can spend a couple of days in a traditional Malawian-style hut in Lilongwe and enjoy bucket showers, candlelight and a complete social media detox.

Lake Malawi is overall the 8th largest lake in the world and the 3 largest in the whole of Africa. David Livingstone around 150 years old is reported to have discovered Lake Malawi. Also know as the Calendar Lake because it’s 52 miles board and roughly 365 miles north to south. It’s fed by 14 perennial rivers and has a depth which is the second deepest in Africa.

Malawi’s biggest export around the world is Tobacco. It’s the countries largest source of income and as a result the countries economic state is very dependant on it’s tobacco resources. It’s other popular resource is tea and Malawi is the second largest producer of tea around the world after Kenya.

Established in 1973, Malawi is home to one of the most beautiful National Parks in the world, Liwonde National Park. A popular destination for safaris the fauna includes the endangered Black Rhinoceros, Elephants, several species of birds and big cats like Lions and Cheetahs.

If you like beer a famous Danish brand has a huge operation there. The story reportedly goes on visiting Malawi for their independence celebrations in 1966, a Danish Foreign Minister wasn’t impressed by the standard of beer in Malawi. In discussions with the then President, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda he suggested opening a Carlsberg brewery in the country. 2 years later the Carlsberg factory was opened making Malawi the only other place Carlsberg is brewed away from Denmark.

 

Teaching Opportunities

There are many volunteer opportunities available in Malawi, especially in rural primary schools. Teachers here will teach not only English but other subjects such as Maths, Science, Art or Sports. You could be a teacher, a teaching assistant or an activity leader. Class sizes can be very large (300 – 400 pupils) as primary education is free and this has resulted in a strain on resources. There are usually opportunities to get involved in health and conservation programmes as well.

It is possible to find a job in urban Lilongwe but the rural areas are where teachers are needed the most. However, this is where the schools are likely to be under-resourced and underfunded so bring some materials and loads of creativity.

Teaching Requirements

  • Degree Requirement
    BA/ BS degree required
  • Typical Contract Length
    3 months – 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Seasons
    May-August
  • Visa Info
    Work permit
  • Typical Students
    Children
  • Average Monthly Cost of Living in Local Currency
    350,000-450,000 MYWK
  • Average Monthly Salary in Local Currency
    350,000-700,000 MYWK

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