Minister of Education, Agnes Nyalonje has said that Covid-19 has changed the way education sector operates to deliver quality learning services in the country.
The minister said this in Lilongwe on Monday when she opened the two days Education Joint Sector Review (JSR) Programme at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) under the theme ‘Education Reform: means to Reverse the Losses from Covid-19 and Build on inclusive, Resilient and Quality Education System.’
She said it was important to respond accordingly to minimise losses as good five-months of school closure that occurred between March and August due to the virus pandemic.
“You will agree with me that this is a huge loss academically. The crisis has exacerbated pre-existing disparities by reducing the opportunities for many, especially most vulnerable children, those living in rural areas, girls and persons with disabilities,” Nyalonje explained.
The minister, however, observed that the pandemic also stimulated innovation within the education sector.
“We have seen innovative approaches in support of education and training continuity; from radio and television to take home packages,’’ the Minister said, adding that “We have been reminded of the essential role of teachers and that government and other key partners have an on-going duty of care for education personnel.
She said the meeting was very unique this year as delegates would enable delegates to find ways and means to continue providing education amid challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, teaching and learning materials as well as teachers.
Nyalonje said there was need to be very strategic in planning and coordination.
“We intend to promote evidence informed policy and decision making so that we can collectively plan what type of investment is needed and how much and where it should be allocated,” she added.
On his part, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Malawi, Rudolf Schwenk said the year 2020 has been a challenging year due to the Covid -19 pandemic.
He said the education sector was particularly affected by the closure of schools and other educational institutions for over six months since March. 2020.
“This not only had a huge negative impact on the learning of children but interrupted the delivery of social services children receive in schools, essential for their well-being and protection,” Schwenk added.
The review meeting has brought together stakeholders in education from government, development partners and civil society organisations to review performance and make plans for improving the education sector in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :