Government to address teachers’ needs

Lilongwe: In its efforts to improve the education sector in the country Government is in the process of addressing challenges that teachers are facing.

Minister of Education Science and Technology (MoEST), Bright Msaka made the remarks on Monday at Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) in Lilongwe when he presided over the official launch of the 2018 Joint Sector Review meeting for stakeholders in the education sector.

Msaka said the welfare of teachers is of uttermost importance to the government and their needs will be addressed.

According to the Minister, apart from promotion processes for teachers that have commenced at all levels, leave grants will also be paid on time.

He further said salary arrears for most of the teachers with proper documentations have already been paid.

Knowing very well that teachers play a critical role in the promotion of education in the country, Government will continue addressing their challenges so that there is adequate motivation for our dedicated teachers, explained Msaka.

Msaka also revealed that government is in the process of developing a new National Education Sector Plan (NESP) a tool which will provide an opportunity for the sector to domesticate the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 4, the Agenda 2063 and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa.

I am so hopeful that the new NESP will be a vehicle for the implementation of major policies and legislation that have just been developed by government, including the National Education Policy, the Education Act 2013 and the National Education Standards, he said

The annual meeting which gives an opportunity for stakeholders to evaluate whether the education sector has done enough in the year under review and the years to come will also discuss challenges that the sector faces in order to achieve good quality education hence the development of the new NESP.

My ministry will work tirelessly to ensure that education in Malawi is of good quality and constantly moving towards meeting world standards, said Msaka.

He then encouraged and called on all stakeholders present to be fully engaged in the development process of the plan saying it will be the foundation upon which the country’s future will be built.

During the year under review, Government developed various policies, plans and initiatives, which include: Readmission Policy, Continuous Professional Development Framework, National Girls Education Strategy, Teacher Management Strategy, and Primary School Learners Promotion Policy.

In a quest to address some of the challenges, as outlined in the 2017/18 education sector performance report, the year under review, Msaka noted that Government was making strides in investing significantly in school infrastructure, classroom blocks, provision of desks and teaching and learning materials.

He also said the Government has also recruited and deployed nearly 20,000 primary school teachers within 2017 and 2018 to various districts across the country.

In his remarks, Head of Cooperation for European Union Delegation in Malawi, Lluis Navaro applauded governments for the strides it is making in improving the education sector.

The abolition of certain fees for secondary education and filling of vacant positions for directors in the Ministry, we expect that these developments will contribute to the realization of results, said Navaro

He said the decision to abolish certain fees for secondary education is indeed a very bold move in support of free secondary education in the country.

The Head of Cooperation who congratulated government for hosting the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the African Union, Committee of 10 Heads of State and Government was optimistic that the abolition of certain fees will reduce the number of dropouts due to financial reasons.

He said: No student will have to give up his or her ambition of completing school due to lack of funds.

This year’s Stakeholders Sector Review Meeting which is being held under the theme Stakeholder Participation: A means to improving learning outcomes , comes barely two weeks after Malawi successfully hosted the first ever Extra-Ordinary Summit of the African Union, Committee of 10 Heads of State and Government championing Education, Science, Technology and Innovations for the African Agenda 2063.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA