The Local Government Accountability and Performance (LGAP) project has teamed up with the Ministry of Education, through Malawi Institute of Education, to prepare 846 headteachers and deputy headteachers for school headship in public primary schools across the country.
With funding from USAID and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (formerly DFID), the school managers drawn from Balaka, Blantyre Rural and Mulanje have been trained in School Headship and Management training which the Ministry has made it mandatory for any public primary school headship.
The course comes in two parts: First part is a two-week instructor-led training and second part is the six-month long implementation of action plans on education-related issues that each school had identified with support from their facilitators during the training. Upon successful completion of the course, school managers will be issued with a National Professional Certification in School Headship and Management and eventually confirmed by the Ministry to head any public primary school.
Speaking in Blantyre during a supervision exercise for the trained headteachers, LGAP’s Acting Technical Director for Education Governance, Lovemore Kuchonde, said the idea was to help school managers help learners achieve greater learning outcomes.
“Our support to the Ministry of Education through Malawi Institute of Education is meant to build school systems that are critical for increasing learning outcomes. We believe school leadership and management is key to all this,” said Kuchonde.
A team of education experts from the Ministry and Malawi Institute of Education is currently on the ground to supervise the headteachers, monitor implementation of the agreed action plans during the training and mentor them in agreed key performance indicators.
At Muonekera II Primary School and Kanyeteza Primary School in Blantyre Rural, headteachers and deputy headteachers demonstrated commitment and improvements in the implementation of their action plans.
One of the facilitators from MIE, Joshua Munthali, encouraged the school managers to continue working hard and stay the course in implementation of the action plans to realize maximum results on school performance and achieve better learning results.
A headteacher at Muonekera II Primary School, Elizabeth Zalimba, said the training was an eye-opener which has had immediate impact on her role as a manager, saying she is now able to see the difference.
“When I came in 2016, I did not have knowledge as a school administrator. But after the training, I can now manage the school and its stakeholders with confidence because I have gained needed knowledge and skills,” said Zalimba.
LGAP – a USAID local governance hub designed to strengthen district council capacity for improved public service delivery – started in 2016 and winds down in August this year following impressive work with Ministry of Education on recruitment of school inspectors, roll out of national school inspection, school-community social contracts, school leadership and management, design of Teacher Performance Appraisal System (T-PAS), among other interventions aimed at increasing learning outcomes.
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