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Malawi Access Into Teaching Scholarships (MATS)


Breaking the cycle of lost opportunities for girls in school

Status: Complete

Mother and son

A chronic shortage of teachers in Malawi means many students don’t get the support they need. Without female focused support and role models, many girls miss the opportunity to fulfil their potential, and the number of girls going into teaching never improves. The Access Into Teaching project offers young women a second chance at a teaching career.

Many girls in Malawi have completed secondary school, but have not received enough support to achieve the grades needed for a teacher education programme. This pathway into teaching offers girls two methods of support:

  • A one year upgrade course via distance learning prepares the girls to retake their secondary school leaving exams and prepare for application to teacher training. Distance learning means girls can stay with their families and gives people in rural areas the same access.
  • Girls also gain first hand classroom experience through a Teaching Assistant placement in a local primary school supported by a mentor from the school’s teaching staff and accompanied by a School Experience handbook.

Building on a pilot of 1,000 study places funded by the Scottish Government Development Office, 500 young women of secondary school leaving age are currently studying as KGIS Scholars. A further 1,500 will join the programme over the next year.  In classroom placements in their own communities, these girls will provide mentoring and inspiration to an estimated 160,000 girls over the life of the project.


Part of Keeping Girls in School, a UK aid programme supporting various projects in Malawi, the project is delivered in partnership with a local NGO, through which the project reaches around 200 rural primary schools. The project is endorsed by the Malawi Government.

The learning resources for the MATS project are freely available to all on the OpenLearn website under a Creative Commons license.