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Men Shun Adult Literacy Classes In Malawi

Well, I saw an article with this crazy title as I culled through a google search of Adult Literacy News and had to stop to read it. I wanted to know why! Why are men in Malawi shunning Adult Literacy classes?


The article, posted on Capital News of Blantyre, Malawi led with the declaration that “authorities in Ntcheu (Malawi) are expressing concern with the tendency of shunning adult literacy classes by most men in the district. The concern was raised during the graduation of 211 adult literacy students from Traditional Authorities Mpando and Champiti respectively.” Only 19 of the graduates were men.


Malawan authorities attribute the shunning of literacy classes by men to shyness—and vow to increase the numbers of men in classes this year.


There’s so much to unpack here. Wow. After my curiosity was sated, I was struck with disbelief that was soon replaced by a desire for cultural awareness. The good thing is that Malawi provides free, government sponsored Adult Literacy classes.  I am happy for all those taking advantage of this, and sad that there are people who can’t or won’t. Applying our own cultural understanding to this situation is not appropriate. How can we judge if we don’t know?


I guess my takeaway from this unusual article is that literacy is needed throughout the world. I hope that all those seeking literacy find it…and that all of us in any position to help, do whatever we can to spread literacy.