The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology says population boom in the country is undermining its efforts in improving infrastructure development through construction of enough learning spaces in schools.
Deputy Director of Inspection and Advisory Services in the Ministry, Lindiwe Chide said this on Friday in Mchinji on the sidelines of the district’s education conference held at Mchinji Secondary School Hall.
She said that much as the Ministry is looking at cost effective means of constructing durable schools, there is something that the nation overlooks when talking about infrastructure development and that is the issue of population.
“You cannot believe the rate at which Malawi population is growing and as education we simply cannot cope. We are getting children whereby one hospital can produce a classroom in 30 minutes,” the Deputy Director pointed out.
Chide, who is also spokesperson for the Ministry, said with this population growth it is becoming difficult for government to quickly put up structures that accommodates all children as well as improving the teacher-to-pupil ratio.
She commended Mchinji district for taking an initiative to address some of the challenges in the education sector through guidelines under the national education standard (NES).
In 2015, the ministry developed the National Education Standards (NES) to guide the implementation of various programmes as well as the teaching and learning processes in schools.
Mchinji is the first district to pilot the implementation of some of the guidelines under NES for enhancement of school education.
Over the past year, the district has been implementing activities focusing on six out of the 26 standards and it presented report findings from the pilot activities during the conference.
Chide, who was the guest of honour at the conference, said it is the Ministry’s wish that the highlights in the report in terms of key achievements and challenges in the activities will serve as a benchmark of improving the implementation of the NES in other districts.
“We plan to replicate what has been done here to other districts. We want them to come and learn what Mchinji is doing in trying to curb some of the challenges through NES,” she said.
The piloting of NES activities in Mchinji was done with technical support from Link Community Development through a project run by the ministry called Integrated School Performance Improvement Review and Engagement (INSPIRE).
Programmes Director for the organisation, Dr Fritz Robert Kadyoma said his organisation will continue to support government through INSPIRE to ensure that every school is subjected to the national education standards.
“NES is a massive development that has not been there before. As an organisation our approach is all inclusive whereby every school is targeted as a beneficiary and that is what we have done here in Mchinji,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :