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Open Access Capstone

Publication Date



This project follows the approval of the decentralization policy which the Malawi government adopted in 1998. The policy requires that all government ministries should devolve their functions from central headquarters offices to district assemblies.

The study focused on establishing different views that key actor groups have concerning this policy and its implementation. The sample of 25 included district managers, Primary education advisors, desk officers, and head teachers, eliciting their views on the devolution of primary education to district assemblies. This study took place in Zomba district with some respondents from outside Zomba which the researcher considered critical. It was a qualitative study and used face-to-face interviews as a method of data collection.

The study offers insights to the Ministry of Education and other policy makers on what is actually happening on the ground so that appropriate strategies for policy implementation can be made. This will ensure that the policy is implemented successfully.

Key findings are that there is a good understanding of decentralization by definition among the key actor groups although some confusion about what practically is involved in decentralization was evident. There were also mixed views about which functions to decentralize. Whilst some respondents support decentralization as a way to improve the educational system, there are others who think otherwise, stating reasons of possible corruption, favoritism and diversion of funds under a decentralized system.