Government has conceded existence of gaps that are paralysisng the country’s education, and has challenged respective players in the sector to jointly implement practical solutions to the same.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology Agnes NyaLonje Was speaking in Lilongwe Teusday in her wrap up statement of a two-day Joint Education Review Meeting held under the theme “Education Reforms: A Means to Reverse Education Losses from Covid-19 and Build an Inclusive, Resilient and Quality Education System”
She said the already sad state in the sector, which has been evident through dilapidated frastructer, poor welfare for teachers and poor learning conditions for students, among others, has been worsened by the emergence of Covid 19 which has brought about significant loss of learning time in schools.
She said apart from negatively impacting on education and the economy, the crisis has also exacerbated pre-existing disparities saying anything that limits educational opportunities disproportionately hits the vulnerable and disadvantaged children like girls, persons with disabilities, those living in poverty, and those in rural areas.
She has since challenged stakeholders to translate ideas, resolutions and enthusiasm discussed during the review meeting into practical solutions that will bring permanent and positive change in the sector.
“The education committed to improving the education in Malawi and the role of the Ministry is to manage the sector in such a way thatsure that every stakeholder gives their best. And to do that, we need to show leadership by making sure that the systems govern education are systems that and value and help people do what they have to do other than stopping them from doing what they have to do,” said NyaLonje.
She also pointed out that on a positive note, Covid 19 has brought about innovative approaches in support of education and training continuity ranging from online and e-learning, to radio and television learning which need to be embraced in the efforts to enhance quality output from the education sector.
In her remarks, incoming Chairperson of Development Partners in the education sector, Catherine Lott concurred with the minister saying the list of needs to ensure quality education goes beyond monitory.
She among others underscored need for welfare of teachers saying they needed to be treated with the respect they deserve, and a call for the teachers to execute their duties with responsible professionalism to make schools safe places for students.
Lott, who is also Nationa Director for USAID emphasized on the need to send and keep the girl child in school, and prioritizing basic education and the National Reading Programme.
Disclosing plans to construct 200 secondary schools through USAID across the country, she called on communities to care for education facilities with a sense of ownership and responsibility. Mana/jm