MP Chakwera says technical colleges in Malawi have failed

Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament for Dowa Ngala, Dr Elias Chakwera has said technical colleges in Malawi have failed to develop because the nation has no “systematic policy” that sustains technical training in this country.

Chimwendo Banda: Present the report

Chimwendo Banda: Present the report

Chakwera was speaking parliament after Chairperson of the Parliamentary committee of Social and Community Affairs , Richard Chimwendo Banda presented a report which highlighted that despite the increase in the funding towards technical colleges and the provision of the ADB loan, most colleges remained in a less than optimal state.

In his report, Chimwendo Banda noted that infrastructure was dilapidated and learning materials were inadequate. in most of the colleges they visited in the country.

He said the situation was particularly dire at Salima Technical College, where the community observed that hostels were in uninhabitable state.

“The classrooms were sparsely furnished and the teaching and learning materials were out dated and irrelevant to the present industrial needs.

“It was sad to see a motor vehicle mechanic course being conducted using an old engine from the 1980s, from a car that has seized to be manufactured on the global market,” pointed out Chimwendo Banda.

In his contribution to the report, Chakwera said the problems were due to lack of systematic policy for the sector, saying o technical colleges have been pushed between two ministries all the time, sometimes the Ministry of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development and sometimes the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

“That has actually made technical colleges fail to develop and no wonder we still have a mess where we are using very archaic equipment to train our people to this day,”said Chakwera.

“Mr Speaker, Sir, you will also recall that technical colleges used to be supported by the Apprentice Board in the University of Malawi which was abolished some time back, and we have not gone back any closer to university level where we have supported technical education,” he said.

He also criticised the coming in of community colleges by the DPP government , saying the project was rushed as far as education and training are concerned.

“The idea is very good, but when you don’t prepare it and put things in place, it becomes a bad idea in the end. It is quite interesting to note that we are already complaining that not much is happening because there are no teachers in the community colleges. This should not surprise us because this idea was not supported by the training of the trainers. It is not surprising that we don’t have the equipment in place. If we had waited for one year or two just to bring things and mobilise resources together, we would have kicked off this programme very well,” he said.

Chakwera said technical subjects demand a lot of resources .

“ For me, I thought we should be talking about how can we reorganise these colleges in order to effectively deliver what they should do? Who is responsible in this country for training and education? Is it Ministry of Labour, Youth and Manpower Development? It is a critical question which we must address otherwise we are going to be investing money and yet not getting the results because wrong people are doing the wrong job,” he said.

Chakwera said MPs must ask “serious soul searching questions,” which are going to look at policies in order to drive the development of t=Malawi in the right direction.

In his report, Chimwendo Banda said his the Committee viewed that technical and community colleges as “vital components “of the country’s future.

He said the colleges =have the potential to transform the economy of the nation through fostering a new generation of entrepreneurs who will not wait to be employed in white collar jobs but will create their own small and medium scale businesses.

Leader of the House Francis Kasaila asked for “more time” for MPs in order to allow them read the report and get acquainted with it to prepare for the debate.

The Speaker suspended debate on the report by the Social Committee band will continue tomorrow.

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22 thoughts on “MP Chakwera says technical colleges in Malawi have failed”

  1. Jayjay says:

    There is government technical college in the north. Only govt technical colleges are to benefit from ADB funds hence no benefit for the north, that is Bingu’s plans.
    At least one govt technical college in the north is greatly needed.

  2. Dolo weni weni says:

    The problem with Malawians is of commenting with already politically inclined minds. The issue at hand is about the state of our technical colleges and not about DPP, MCP or UDF. The committee members that came up with the report comprises MPs from all political parties and they came up with the findings as presented. The key issue is that our technical conditions are in poor condition which should be a concern to all those with upright brains! Students need to live and learn in a conducive where the infrastructure is update to date. Similarly, material and equipment should be provided in line with technological advancement. Vehicles are getting more sophisticated – electronic and computerized while the labour force to work on these upmarket vehicles are still studying an outdated curriculum. How long should we continue to lag behind in everything? One key issue is that we have a clear policy and make sure that line Ministry takes responsibility instead of shifting their management from Ministry to another! We need to assign them to the right Ministry and that all necessary support is given. There is nothing of politics in all the discussions but future for our technical skills development necessary for industrialization!

  3. Rich CJ says:

    If they have not done as much as we hoped for; it means they have failed. But there is no future in the past, we can correct the mess and perfect our comm. Collages for the better of the nation. MP Chakwera is 100% right that the proglam was rushed. Poeple don’t try to forget OVOP, how much money was spent? But how enfective is OVOP? Its good kuti asanasolore wina in the name of community collages, tizisiye kapena tikonze. That is for the good of poor Malawian son/daughter. Iwowa ana awo pano sangaphuzire mmabwinjamu, koma akagwa pamsana paNjovu mpamene adzadziwe kuti kuli mame ngati mmene ena aja akufunira kuti ma EX MP & MINISTERS, kuti adzirandirako ka peshoni.

  4. wwdww says:

    MP Chakwera is right, the government needs to plan well by putting all resources in time. I also agree that MP’s should be talking about reorganising the Technical colleges otherwise it will be just a name.

  5. Kumametsa says:

    Analyst,
    Kupsya mtima chomcho bwanji? I thought the issue here about improving our technical education. Chakwera has ably articulated some gaps in the systems. Nothing wrong, that!
    All in all, you’re not passing to the title of analyst. Analysts are more sober and analytical than what you often are.

    1. The Analyst says:

      ki ki ki the lighetr side of life . . . But it hurts when people just talk n talk n talk. I hope or wish you had seen the MGDS; the ideas are just too brilliant to have come from Malawi. But very little is being done on the ground. How many policies do we need to produce before we start implementing them? A a, we are not doing justice to our country.

  6. chemuyaya says:

    Same thing happened During Bingu’s era. Kumanga doko kenako kafukufuku ati pachiuprofesa.

  7. Mugonapamhanya says:

    Even in our universities infrastructure is dilapidated, does this mean our universities have failed? That’s the problem with partisan politics, it turns clever and smart people into dunderheads faster than anybody realizes. Once people join politics they cease to be viewed as professionals. Think of all those educationists, geologists, engineers, medics, etc, they no longer think as professionals.

  8. mapwevupwevu says:

    Kodi MCP yasanduka personal property ya a Chakwera okhaokha et!

  9. Gerald mapanga phiri says:

    It’s true Technical college need alot of preparation. Some skills is more expensive than diplomas or degree and some of them need alot of resources and time e.g Toolmaking and cnc, fitting and turning, millwright, instrumentation, boilermaking. Government need to be well prepared because its not training them but also they must be sent to companies for some years

  10. we have Brains in opposition, tsoka ilo amalawi ambiri amvera boma loramula basi. Ngakhale akupanga mbwerela. Big up chakwera and chimwendo you have brought the solution to our education. Akasaila tolaniko nzeru kwa anzanuwo engine ya 1980 zoona mpake magalimoto amasiku ano amathera pa garage.

  11. Award Winner says:

    I don’t believe they have failed per say, that’s too harsh. However, they have not done as much as we hoped for. Surely they can do more.

  12. Kang'wing'wi says:

    Bravo bravo!!

    Kwa amene taphunzira mma technical school ‘fe tikugwirizana ndi zomwe mwayankhulazi bwana Chakwera.
    Kuli ma techinical school ambiri omwe tikuwachita UNDER UTILISE koma ndi oti akhonza kuthandiza kwambiri achinyamata omwe angomaliza maphunziro awo a secondary.
    Ma technical oti okhonza kuthandiza kuchepetsa pressure yomwe imakhalapo ku UNIVERSITY ya Malawi (pano aliyense afuna apiteko chifukwa palibe ma College enanso omwe angatithandize)

    Nansawa Technical
    Zomba Works Training Centre
    Lilongwe Technical
    kungotchulapo ochepa chabe. Koma kupita mmalo awa mukamva chisoni!
    But these are very good structures, but we are abandoning them.

    Boma litapereka zida zophunzilira zokwanira ndi zoyenera ku ma technical school, aphunzitsi okwanira, komanso kubweretsa maphunziro okhuthala bwino omwe akuyenera kuona zofunikira ndi zobetchera mu nthawi ino.
    Ndi zomvetsa chisoni kuona anthu akuphunzilira syllabus ya 1980, engine ya 1964. Pano zinthu zasintha kwambiri.

    Ma Type Writer anatha. Pano kuli ma computer. Ngati tikufuna kukhala nazo zingokhala for reference purposes.

  13. Will says:

    What Dr Chakwera said is technically true, without attaching politics on the matter timing has been missed in this whole program. We have rushed implementing the program without fundamental resources in place, if we can swallow our pride let us prepare first before commencement of classes.

  14. Jigidijigidi Jaba says:

    This is kind of stuff that needs to be discussed in our Parliament not the trash we have always been hearing. Bravo Social and Community Affairs Committee.

  15. PICHI says:

    This kind of opposition is very unhelpful. MCP man up or else you will lose our faith in you. Ma technical college ayamba liti?

  16. The Analyst says:

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    . . . If you ask a technician at Illovo who was at Lilongwe Technical College, he/she will disagree with you that technical colleges in Malawi have failed.
    . . . Only if you knock at the door of CFAO and be greeted by a smiling motor vehicle mechanic from Soche Technical College, will you realise that technical colleges in Malawi are still working.
    . . . Not forgetting a secretary who was doing her secretarial studies from Salima Technical College.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    . . . What is a systematic policy? You think that Winiko can understand what a systematic policy is? Now if we speak just to show that we are Doctors in Philosophy will not help anybody.
    . . . . Also, who doesn’t know that policies in Malawi do not work?; the MGDS for example; a very robust developmental agenda but nothing to show for.
    . . . Thus even if the systematic policy is developed there will be nothing if no implementation is done. And Malawi is very good at that – developing a policy n waiting for the policy to grow legs n arms n implement itself! Sad!
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    . . . The issue is after visiting the colleges and finding them in dilapidated state, what has the MP Chimwendo Banda done? Nothing! This is the problem. You identify a problem and do nothing afterwards. Do you expect the problem to just vanish upon seeing you? Iweyo choopsezera mavuto wo?
    . . . Also, is the problem identified only to do with material issues? How about the issue of spending 3 years at a technical college and be given a certificate? You think this is not a problem?
    . . . I wish somebody more sophisticated had done the visit to the technical colleges coz problem therein, are just abound!!1
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  17. flamingo says:

    Already? heve we given ourselves time to develop them? This is bull shit politics Dr Chakwera!

  18. akuntinji anamuona says:

    Wanga Gwede your story headline talks about Mp Chakwera while inside story mentions Richard Chimwendo Banda,which one should we follow?

    Critically analysing the story it seems you are only highlighting the challenges which community colleges are facing but are you really serious that technical colleges have achieved nothing? Do you realise that even Richard Chimwendo himself He has benefited a lot from technical colleges,which you are not highlighting here. If think you can report better beyond mere selfish interest.

    Technical colleges have contributed a lot in absences of adequate universities. Let’s look at what we have achieved and make them stepping stones as we roll community colleges.

    Let’s be practical with Malawi situation, I don’t think we can struggle to uplift our technical colleges.

  19. Phodogoma says:

    To Chakwera every decsion made by DPP is either failed or done in hurry. Non is convincing to him.Had it been that what you are saying is measured in thermometer, we would say that your thermometer is measured up to 1 million cent grade. Thats why your children Kanthati is also myopic.

  20. kayuni kachoko says:

    Good observation Chikwawa. Leaders in this country are so obsessed with new things rather than maintaining what we have and improving on what’s already in existence. Inde ma community colleges sangatheke angodyapo tax yathu anthuwa

  21. Mzozo kununkha says:

    Very true the whole system must be revised and a need to have the right people doing the right thing. Lest we do things in heist. We need people of this type of thinking in that honourable house, one who can pick a problem and give an option on how to fix it. Thumbs up Chimwendo Banda.

    Jessie should emulate this…………

    Please responsible ministry and government at large do not overlook or politicize this. If we are develop or we want to have a meaningful Technical colleges, this must be our way of thinking

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