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Expanding Access to Secondary Education and Improving Youth Livelihoods in Malawi

Students sit at their desks in a new SEED Urban classroom at the newly expanded Kawale school

Tetra Tech is partnering with the Government of Malawi to help design more than 100 secondary schools in urban and rural areas across the country.

Youth make up 60 percent of Malawi’s population, yet many children are unable to continue their education beyond primary school to the secondary level due to a lack of schools, especially in rural areas. The 2023 Grade 8 Primary School Leaving Certificate of Education examinations results showed that 88 percent of the candidates passed the national examinations, but less than half (41 percent) transitioned to secondary school due to lack of physical school space. In Malawi, girls currently are less likely to continue their education; however, studies show that for every additional year in school, they are better able to make healthy decisions for their well-being and their futures.


  • Directly benefiting more than 368,000 students and teachers
  • Building and improving more than 500 classrooms
  • Developing more than 1,500 sanitation facilities
  • Installing more than 80 boreholes in water insecure areas
  • Constructing 178 teachers’ houses to attract well-trained teachers to rural communities

In collaboration with Malawi’s Ministry of Education, Tetra Tech is implementing the Secondary Education Expansion for Development (SEED) project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, to increase secondary school access. SEED aims to increase access to public schools through the expansion of existing–but congested–urban Community Day Secondary Schools (CDSSs) and the construction of new CDSSs in areas where none exist.

The SEED Rural CDSSs package includes designs for classrooms, science laboratories, teacher housing, and gender-segregated latrines equipped with girls changing rooms to support menstrual hygiene management. The technical designs are site-specific with drawings that include site details, layout, orientation, and civil work. In addition, we are integrating net zero energy and net zero water principles into the designs, especially for those in remote areas without municipal water or power. We are using regional materials and local labor and engaging the community to ensure generational success and long-term sustainability.

Tetra Tech provided construction oversight for 30 prefabricated classroom blocks and 150 latrine stalls in the urban districts of Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu. Concurrently, Tetra Tech is providing construction oversight of 89 new greenfield school facilities where secondary school access is extremely limited. We also implemented an internship program for young graduate engineers aimed at developing their technical and management competencies.

Welcoming U.S. Senators to SEED

In March 2024 the SEED team was pleased to welcome a U.S. Congressional Delegation to Malawi to visit the Mzuzi Community Day Secondary School and learn more about the impact of U.S. Government-funded programs in Malawi. The delegation was led by Senator Patty Murray (WA), accompanied by Senators Christopher Coons (DE), Gary Peters (MI), Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), and Peter Welch (VT).

U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware with students and teachers at the Mzuzi Community Day Secondary School

At a glance

Contract Value



U.S. Agency for International Development

Implementation Period



Architecture and Engineering, Construction Oversight, Education, Youth Empowerment

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