Education Minister says Malawi to provide pupil text books for Standards 1 to 4 in January 2018

Minister of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), Bright Msaka says as a solution to improve the reading capability of the children in Malawi, it will from January 2018; provide Chichewa and English pupil text books to each and everyone in standards one to four.

Minister of Education Bright Msaka (L) addressing anews conference at Capital Hill in Lilongwe on Friday

Msaka disclosed the development on Friday in Lilongwe during a press briefing on the progress on programs, projects and activities implemented by his ministry.

He said government, through MoEST, will also provide infrastructure in addition to text books, to ensure the repetition rate is reduced amongst the learners.

“For example, if you have 100 children in a classroom and 40 of them repeat next year, 100 come to the same classroom then we will end up to 140, it’s also defeating the purpose.

“Teaching and sending a child to school cost money on the part of government, if the child has to do a class twice it means that government is spending twice the amount of money on the same child, that is not cost effective, that is why we have come up with the idea of providing the textbooks to the pupils,” explained Msaka.

He said the ministry is implementing various interventions to achieve efficiencies and quality in the education sector as well as making sure education is relevant to the needs of this country.

Msaka said his ministry found it necessary to have the briefing with the media so that at the end of the year they inform the nation and people of the country through the media on what the ministry has done in meeting their aspirations and hope in the education sector.

“We in the ministry are doing quite a number of things to ensure that we address the many challenges that we face, and we think that we are on the right road in addressing those challenges,” he said.

On infrastructure, Msaka said the ministry found learning under a mango tree or in the sun diminishes quality of education.

He said to ensure the good learning environment and ability for children to learn adequately for that grade, the Education Ministry would make sure it provides relevant, requisite and adequate infrastructure so that no child should learn under the tree.

He said the task is huge but the government is committed to make sure that the challenges are addressed.

“I am grateful to say that I am happy to serve under the administration of President Professor Peter Mutharika as Minister of Education because being an educationist and global champion in education, is very keen to give us support in the ministry to make sure that things are happening as he wants them happen,” he said.

He said the government is giving a lot of support to the ministry of education; the ministry received the largest allocation budget resources in the 2017/18 budget.

Msaka added that the support from the donors is overwhelmed, the ministry is one of the ministries that receive a lot of donor support therefore they are able to provide good infrastructures.

For the first time this year government has employed 9, 630 teachers to teach primary school as well as 1, 200 secondary school teachers in trying to provide proper learning environment for the children of the nation.

The number of children that a teacher must teach has an impact of a quality of education being provided so government is addressing the issue of pupil/teacher ration and also providing teaching and learning materials, according to Msaka.

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It’s difficult to make sure my teachers are in all the time because they have 101 unresolved grievances. So your books without my teachers won’t do anything for quality.

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