Education Specialist

Before You Apply

Peace Corps Response positions are open to returned Volunteers or U.S. citizens with significant professional and technical experience.

Project Description

4 Peace Corps Response Volunteers are needed to serve as Education Specialists for Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS). The Malawi educational system continues to face serious challenges in providing quality education. The initiation of free primary education in 1994 has greatly increased the need for schools, teachers, infrastructure, and resources, such as learning materials. However, the transition from primary to secondary school is often a turning point for Malawian youth, especially girls. There are a number of barriers and risks to students seeking secondary education due to environmental and infrastructural challenges. According to EMIS data from 2015, for both boys and girls in Malawi, paying school fees is the biggest barrier to attending secondary school. However, for girls, this is closely followed by pregnancy, early marriage, living long distances from schools, and domestic responsibilities. To address these and other challenges, USAID, through Save the Children, will construct new Form 1-4 (9th-12th grade equivalent) classroom blocks adjacent to existing primary schools in Machinga and Zomba. Construction of the the Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSS) is tentatively slated to end by September 2018 in Machinga and later in the year in Zomba. The Ministry of Education has committed to providing teachers for these new schools and the program will support scholarships for 15 girls and 5 boys.

4 Education Specialists with at least 3 years of experience in classroom teaching and the ability to work within a cross-cultural setting are needed to support the establishment of the Secondary Schools’ administrative and management systems, which includes strategic planning and promoting instructional leadership. These Education Specialists will work closely with the Head Teachers of the CDSSs in the startup of the new school, introducing gender-sensitive pedagogy to create gender equitable learning opportunities for all students, supporting the Ministry of Education with design and training for School Management Committees (including Parent-Teacher Associations, when possible), and co-teaching at least four hours of classroom instruction in English grammar and literacy to demonstrate best practices and create a community of practice among teachers. The Response Volunteers will also utilize the Good School Toolkit methodology to support code of conduct training for head teachers, teachers, and students to create a positive school culture and design positive behavior systems. The goal of this assignment is to co-plan the strategic plan to set up and achieve academic and behavioral goals with the Head Teachers for the CDSS startups.

Please note that this position is one of several that will depart for service in Malawi at the same time. It is unlikely that the departure date will change but applicants will be notified if the date does change. Please only apply if you are available on the date listed and if you can serve for the entire duration of the project.

Partner Information

Community Day Secondary Schools

Required Skills

• Bachelor of Science in Education, English, or a related field (such as Special Education, a certified Reading Specialist, a certified TESOL/TEFL instructor, etc.)
• At least 3 years of experience in classroom teaching, preferably at the elementary, middle, or high school level
• Experience training teachers
• Ability to set reasonable goals and complete tasks in time
• Good interpersonal skills and history of building strong working relationships
• Ability to quickly adjust and work with educators of diverse backgrounds
• Must be able to work within a cross-cultural setting with the ability to integrate quickly within the community
• Ability to communicate very well, both orally and written
• Should be resourceful and a self-starter

The Peace Corps embraces and leverages the diversity of its volunteers as a reflection of America's diversity. Peace Corps Response is committed to reflecting the diversity of the United States in the professionals we send into the field to support the mission of world peace and friendship. Applicants with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Medical Considerations in Malawi

  • Malawi may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; cardiology; dermatology; gastroenterology; some types of gynecologic support; insulin-dependent diabetes; mammography; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; seizure disorder; urology; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified. 
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: peanuts.
  • After arrival in Malawi, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.


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