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Education minister Msaka calls for relevant secondary school curriculum

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka says it is high time Malawi reviewed its secondary school curriculum to ensure that learners are imparted with skills relevant to the modern world.

Msaka: Education Minister for review of curriculum

Speaking Monday in Mzuzu when he opened a regional stakeholder dialogue meeting for northern and central east education chapter, Msaka asked delegates to ensure that learners should start learning things that will make Malawi competitive against other countries.

“Let us consider the 21st century skills, where we deliberately develop an awareness of and proficiency in critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and communication, creativity and imagination, digital literacy and other relevant skills,” he said.

Msaka observed that some things taught in secondary school over the years may not be relevant in this contemporary world.

“For instance, is the Pythagoras Theorem still relevant? I can’t even use it since [I studied it] but I’m still alive,” he wondered, sending delegates into laughter.

“In the past we were dissecting frogs and lizards. The world has transformed technologically and a leaner today might be required to fix a mobile phone, for instance,” he said.

Msaka said time has come for Malawi to take a serious look at the secondary school education and make both intellectual and financial investment in it.

The dialogue meeting was attended by the academia, traditional leaders, secondary school students and development partners, among others to review secondary education in Malawi in terms of enrollment, resourcing and curriculum, among other things.

UNICEF Malawi’s education specialist, Kimanzi Muthengi, noted that the country was enrolling many learners into primary school but few were proceeding to secondary school.

“While we have five million learners in primary school, we have about 400, 000 in secondary schools and about 300, 297 are in public schools. So these are worrying figures,” he said.

Muthengi said according to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), education is a basic right that begins from early childhood education, therefore, one should enjoy that right up to the point he or she gets skills to go to work.

“But you find that when you don’t have a robust secondary education system, you don’t get to work. You continue being a manual labourer because that is what is on offer.

“So we are losing opportunities in technology, in developing new frontiers of employment such as sports and arts industries because of a constrained secondary system,” he said.

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