Implications of Cost Sharing Policy on Access and Persistence in Secondary Education System: A Case of Chiradzulu District in Malawi

Dyce Kapumula Nkhoma, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study has found out that non-reporting and dropout rates increased following the implementation of the cost sharing policy. The observed increase in the rates of non-reporting and dropout might be due to the rise in secondary school fees as a result of the policy. However the severe famine that started in 2000 might have also contributed to the high non-reporting and dropout rates. The study has shown that cost of secondary education was not affordable to an average parent. An average household had to spend 20% of its total annual income paying one child at a day secondary school and 37% of the annual income if the child was at a boarding secondary school.

Secondary school head teachers in boarding schools feel that the policy has helped to ease the financial problems they used to have before the implementation of the policy. But head teachers in day secondary schools feel that the school fees are very high, they should be reduced to a manageable level.

Almost all the parents feel that the secondary school fees are very high and pleaded that they should be reduced to a level that majority of the in rural areas can afford.