Government of Japan has described human resource development as the most cost-effective way of investment plan, saying it is a multiplier effect in as far as investment and development are concerned.
Ambassador of Japan to Malawi , Kae Yanagisawa said during the sendoff of beneficiaries of Japan scholarships that her government believes in human resource development besides the availability of other ways of investing in Africa, hence the offer of scholarships.
The Japanese Government has offered scholarships to 14 beneficiaries who will undergo training in different fields in various universities in Japan.
Nine of the 14 scholarship recipients are beneficiaries of the Teacher Training Program which is aimed at providing primary and secondary school level teachers with opportunities to upgrade their teaching skills in various areas of specialization.
She said trainings such as these are vital in ensuring that the beneficiaries use the skills acquired to bring the much needed change in the communities they serve.
“Investing in people is not just investing in one person, it has a multiplier effect. After coming back, the scholarship awardees will have better chance to disseminate the knowledge and skills to fellow Malawians,” she said.
Yanagisawa observed that such knowledge dissemination will enhance investment which will have a much larger effect than the money spent on the individuals.
The Japanese Ambassador expressed gratitude that so far, students who have undergone through such scholarship programs have done well, especially in mindset change by applying what they have learnt in their careers.
“As far as their performance in Japan is concerned, they do very well and after coming back they apply what they learned in Japan and how to utilise the locally available teaching materials,” she said.
Minister of Education, Science and Technology, William Susuwele Banda concurred with Yanagisawa on investing in human resource, saying for a country to develop it must massively invest in education.
Banda expressed hope that after coming back from the studies, the scholarship awardees would come back equipped and positively impact on the sectors they are representing.
He said despite the awardees coming from different sectors, concentration on the education sector is vital as the teachers will come back and make a difference by implementing the skills and ideas learnt while in Japan.
“We have 14 scholarship beneficiaries that are going to Japan to study, nine of them are in education which is great news to us because when they come back they will be in the classrooms and teaching more Malawians.
“It is also good for the country that others have been awarded scholarships in business, economics and health,” he said.
This is the fourth time Japan has supported Malawi with scholarships. It is for this reason that the Education Minister would like the gesture to continue so that more Malawians benefit.
Susuwele said investment in young ones is an assurance of many years of contributing to the services in Malawi and, therefore, helping Malawi to develop.
“One of the pillars in the National Education Sector Plan is quality. But you cannot talk of quality education if you do not have quality teachers.
“It is, therefore, our hope that the teachers will come back better equipped academically and that in the end they will impact positively on education,” he said.
The scholarships have targeted teachers from both public and private secondary schools.
One of the beneficiaries, Kupatsa Mtambalika, a teacher at Kalibu Academy hailed government for extending the scholarships even to the private institutions.
She said private institutions and government are expected to work hand in hand in many areas, as such there is need for cordial relationship between the two which she said has been demonstrated through the scholarship awards.
“Now I have been awarded this scholarship to go to Japan to study Plant Ecology and Conservation, I’m very happy because this will help government as well,” she said.
As of 2018, the Teacher Training program has benefitted 24 trainees.
Apart from the Teacher Training Program, other programs under the 2019 scholarships include the African Business Education Initiative, the Joint Japan – World Bank Graduate Scholarship and the Ashinaga Scholarship.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :