Camera_98-10-11_003 Oct 11 1998 12:29AM


School construction is a continual project in Malawi.  Roughly the 
numbers look like this: The annual growth rate is 3%.  The average 
life expectancy is about 50 years.  The annual mortality rate is 
about 2%.  The actual fertility rate is then about 5%.  So each 
new school class is about  5% larger.  Every year the classroom, 
desk and book supply must be increased by 5%.  Because teachers 
retire and leave the profession, the supply of trained teachers 
must increase by considerable more than this.  It is not unusual 
to hear of classrooms with 90-110 students in them.  Education is 
very difficult in this environment.  If education is the solution 
to the problem, they currently seem to be loosing ground.

Another demension, if the fertility rate is 5% and half  the population is under 15 years old and half the population is male, then roughly 25% of the population is female of child bearing age, one of five of these women is having a baby every year.