The William J. Clinton Foundation has announced the creation of an international education partnership to educate more than two hundred thousand children in Rwanda and Malawi each year.
With funds provided by the Scotland-based Hunter Foundation and Bob Geldof's charity, Band Aid, the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative (CHDI) will commit $10 million to manage the design and construction of four teacher-training facilities, each capable of graduating two hundred primary school teachers a year, in Rwanda and Malawi. When completed, the facilities will be turned over to the governments of Rwanda and Malawi, which will join with the UK Department for International Development in providing funds for operating expenses and the salaries of the new teachers until at least 2015.
Many experts identify the recruitment, training, and retention of qualified teachers as one of the biggest challenges to sustained improvements in education in the developing world. Following an accelerated training curriculum, the first class of four hundred teachers in each country will graduate in less than two years. Assuming a conservative class size of fifty students, the new teachers will be able to educate forty thousand children across Rwanda and Malawi. The current teacher-student ratio is 1 to 78 in Malawi and 1 to 74 in Rwanda, while school completion rates are 30 percent and 52 percent, respectively — among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa.
"Putting qualified educators in places where they are needed most is an essential step in ensuring that our next generations have the opportunity to live successful lives," said former President Bill Clinton. "I am so pleased that the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative is working with the governments of Malawi, Rwanda, and the UK to improve the lives of children. By investing in teacher training facilities, we are investing in the futures of Malawi and Rwanda."