Minister NyaLonje outlines President Chakwera’s vision for education sector at Education World Forum 2022

The Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Agnes NyaLonje, has disclosed that the President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera-led administration envisages to address challenges of access to schools by 2030 to ensure that all children enjoy their right to education.

But NyaLonje emphasized that this can only be achieved if developed countries to do more to support countries like Malawi, which knows what they should do, as outlined in its new development blueprint, Malawi 2063.

The minister made the remarks at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London recently during the Education World Forum 2022. This was a gathering of education ministers flanked by their senior managers from around the globe like never before.

Education ministers from 116 countries gathered at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London, between 22 and 26 May 2022, for the event, which was convened to find solutions for building back better, stronger, and resilient education systems, post-pandemic.

Education Minister NyaLonje

The forum was full of interrelated main sessions, but NyaLonje was also invited to several key side meetings, which she harnessed to drum up support for increased financing to complement government efforts to uplift Malawi’s education system for equitable access and resilience.

During her session, one of the big questions posed was: “how will we measure success of a transformed education system?”

In her response, NyaLonje challenged the forum and raised the stakes when she said that Malawi and other developing countries needed to come to a point where the majority of parents and guardians will be asking the question of “which school” to send their children to and not anymore “where is the school?”

NyaLonje further attracted the attention of the forum with her description of how the double blow the Malawi’s education system faces, namely: how the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple climate related disasters undermine major ongoing interventions by innocent vulnerable country governments, despite support from development partners.

She therefore called upon developed countries to do more to support countries like Malawi, which knows what it should do, as outlined in its new development blueprint, Malawi 2063.

“Our MW2063 plan outlines how Malawi might adapt to climate change and build a more resilient education system. In its first ten-year implementation plan dubbed MIP 1 (2021-2030), Malawi intends to offer at least 12 years of education to every child by 2030, and ensure that once enrolled, every learner completes their primary and secondary education. This feat requires huge investment in infrastructure and digitalization,” she narrated.

“At that point, Malawi will have addressed the access challenges, which are huge now and instead, will be focusing primarily on the comparative quality of learning offered by schools to be found all around the country, as it is in the developed countries today. This is a notion that attracted applause and was highly subscribed to by the forum participants as exhibited during both the session and networking conversations after,” she added.

NyaLonje also held an exciting and fruitful side meeting with the founder of a non-profit called “IAMTHECODE Foundation”, Lady Marieme Jamme.

They agreed to develop a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Through this MoU, thousands of Malawian girls and youth will be trained in computer coding, for free, using her foundation’s online portal (www.iamthecode.org).

Malawi will be part of their global grand Mission to build a generation of one million women and girl coders by 2030.

It is hoped that through this intervention, many young girls will be enabled to pursue further training in computing and find meaningful employment, including exploring start-ups.

The minister also had a very successful meeting with Ms Jamie Cooper, the Chair and President of a United Kingdom based non-profit organization called Big Win Philanthropy, and her team.

The meeting resulted in the identification of two major areas of intervention, namely; 1) enhancement of the efficiency of the education system through improved teacher deployment, and 2) improved strategic communication for enhanced engagement on education reforms.

This was a follow up meeting to the visit to Malawi made by a delegation two months earlier to ground truth the status of education and identify potential areas for support in line with the Minister’s legacy goal.

Next steps will lead to the finalization of the design of a project that will help the Ministry achieve the legacy goal of ensuring 100 percent primary education completion rate by 2030.

Minister NyaLonje also had quality engagement with the British Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on the Girl Child’s Education, Ms Helen Grant (Picture 3).

She emphasized on the priority areas for the Ministry, which includes expanding school infrastructure and teacher housing, while investing in integration of technology to expand access and enhance quality of education, for resilience.

They both acknowledged that having met several times, it was now time to do something major to change the fate of the girl child in Malawi through education. To that effect, the envoy will visit Malawi on a trip that will inform the choice and design of the most appropriate interventions.

During other side meetings, the minister lobbied the World Bank to apply its global expertise to support Malawi as it develops a costed blended learning strategy that will be used to guide implementation and engage financiers.

She also courted a team of development partners that are forming a coalition, which will support the ministry in the nation-wide scaling up of the joint-award winner of the Global Learning XPRIZE of 2021, the tablet-based learning technology for foundation skills commonly known as Unlocking Talent, in Malawi.

The initial coalition partners include One billion, VSO, Imagine Worldwide, the Edtech Hub, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Organization (FCDO) and the Gates Foundation.

The forum and the side meetings were crucial for Malawi as they offered a grand platform for sharing knowledge and coming up with promising strategies for solving major education challenges in building back.

NyaLonje effectively used the forum to make a strong case for support towards Malawi.

Envoys from the World Bank, the British Government, ministers from countries such as Brazil, and non-profit education organizations, such as the Education Partnerships Group and Lego Foundation, philanthropist organizations such as Big Win and Gates Foundation, and Education Technology companies, pledged to help Malawi design and implement sustainable and effective strategies to scale up interventions that will improve foundation skills, including through teacher preparation, integration of education technologies and innovation, and improving system efficiency.

The EWF22 concluded with a grand networking session hosted by the Minister for Africa at the FCDO, Vicky Ford (in blue, in the right picture), at the Lancaster house, where she praised Minister NyaLonje for her high level of commitment to improving education and the fate of the girl child in Malawi as witnessed during Minister Ford’s recent visit to Malawi.

NyaLonje was accompanied by Dr Joshua Valeta, the Director of Open, Distance and e-Learning in the Ministry of Education.

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Azeze
19 days ago

When a teacher write a whole examination on a blackboard in this day? That’s a far fetched dream Madam. Change your approach to the whole System.

I. This day you really expect a teacher to write an end of Term exam on a blackboard and even when you can’t provide chalk? Pure Madness

Bien
19 days ago

But she didn’t mentioned about Maneb has also impact during exam registration:The board is expensive, does not see that Malawians are poor.

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