By Trouble Ziba:
The Ministry of Education recently challenged its partners to isolate challenges that concern Malawi from the global situation and solicit solutions to them so that the country moves out of ‘the education crisis.’
The appeal was made when Edukans, a non-governmental organisation that works to improve education globally, launched a project dubbed ‘Teaching with Impact’ at Mwatibu Primary School in Traditional Authority Chadza in Lilongwe.
Speaking at the launch, Ministry of Education Acting Principal Secretary, Raphael Agabu said from the numerous prevailing global challenges in education, local stakeholders need to isolate those that concern Malawi and find solutions to them.
Agabu also urged education partners that witnessed the occasion, to always do what would be a solution to a particular education challenge the country is facing.
“It is also important that what happens between the teacher, pupil and learning materials should be of value to the learner,” said Agabu who was guest of honour at the function.
He conceded that the country’s current education situation is that pupils attend school, but hardly learn the way they are expected, due to inadequate learning materials and teaching skills among other reasons.
Agabu, therefore, said for teachers to deliver as expected, there is need for continuous professional training for them to be proficient.
“For correct learning outcomes, there is need for correct teaching methodologies and skills, correct teachers, correct learning resources and correct mindset,” said the Acting Principal Secretary.
The two-year project launched targets 120, 000 learners and 360 teachers in 60 schools in Lilongwe, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Mangochi, Salima and Mzimba.
It aims at providing in-service training to teachers and locally available learning materials such as books and pens to pupils to arouse their interest for learning.
UNESCO Acting Deputy Executive Secretary, David Mulera, described the current education situation in the country as ‘Education in crisis’ due to failure by most learners to acquire the needed skills after attending school.
“It is the desire of every parent and guardian to hear that their children are doing well in school,” he said.
The UNESCO official further decried the current situation in education, saying though several adolescents attend the country’s schools, they do not learn enough, which he described a waste of human capital and deterrent to development.
Mulera, therefore, appealed that the launched project “Teaching with Impact” should provide solutions to current challenges and be implemented in collaboration with other partners to move the country out of the current education situation which is said to be in crisis.
He alluded to the fact that the current local and global education situation has been worsened by the advent of COVID-19.
Edukans’ Country Director, Limbani Nsapato, echoed the UNESCO Representative’s and Agabu’s sentiments that Malawi needs to move out of “the learning crisis” and challenged that the launched project would be part of the solution to the current problems in areas of the organisation’s jurisdiction.
Globally, about 617 million children do not achieve the minimum proficiency in reading and writing, according to the UNESCO representative.