Malawi leader lays out education plans: 5 universities promise will be fulfilled

Malawi’s new president, former law professor and education minister Peter Mutharika, has said he will fulfil his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) promise on the construction of five new universities.

Mutharika, younger brother of Malawi’s former president Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in 2012, told Parliament on Tuesday that the DPP-led Government will fulfil its promise on new universities and colleges.

The DPP promised the building and opening five new universities in Mzimba, Nkhotakhota, Mangochi and Nsanje.

Malawi University Of Science And Technology: The worKs of DPP
Malawi University Of Science And Technology: The worKs of DPP

In addition, Mutharika said his administration will, in the next five years add 10,000 new students to the Polytechnic, Mzuzu University, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chancellor College and various Technical, Entrepreneurial, Vocational, Education and Training (TEVET) Programmes.

“Out of the 10,000 students, 6,000 students will pursue degree programmes in mining, geology, mineral processing, metallurgy, electronic engineering, telecommunications, construction technology, bio-medics, education, tourism, just to mention a few; while 4,000 rural youths will pursue various TEVET programmes,” said Mutharika.

Mutharika served the Bingu-ear as Education Minister at the time Malawi was plagued by academic freedom protests that lasted a year.

The President told Parliament that Government recognises the role that education plays in fostering innovation and creativity.
He noted that education standards in the country have “plummeted” due to a number of factors, including inadequate teaching and learning materials, insufficient classroom blocks and a high pupil-teacher ratio.

“To address these challenges, Government will, among other things: provide adequate teaching and learning materials in all public schools; construct and rehabilitate school blocks and girls hostels.”

Mutharika said his government will promote learning of science, technology and technical subjects in public schools as well as provide computer laboratories in all public secondary schools.

“We will therefore give very high priority to locally-based research programmes and adaptation and utilization of science and technology specifically designed to convert our agricultural primary commodities, minerals and other natural resources into new wealth,” said Mutharika.

He also said government will revise the terms and conditions of service for teachers to make the profession attractive and competitive.

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