In its drive to improve primary school education standards, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has appointed and accredited 201 inspectors.
The inspectors will be responsible for inspecting both public and private primary schools across the country.
Speaking Monday in Mzuzu when he opened a weeklong training for the newly accredited inspectors from Northern Education Division, Principal Secretary in the MoEST, Justin Saidi, said the ministry’s Inspectorate and Advisory Directorate has, for some time, been facing challenges in inspecting primary schools due to inadequate inspectors.
The training is financed by Local Government Accountability and Performance (Lgap) with funding from United States For International Development (USAID) and Department for International Development (DfID).
“We are supposed to have 208 inspectors across the country but of late, the number dwindled due to various factors such as retirement of some inspectors, so it was difficult to replace them,” said Saidi.
Saidi said inspectors play a vital role in ensuring that teaching and learning is done in line with the national education standards which can contribute to the quality of primary school education.
“Inspectors are supposed to advise primary school institutions, collect and analyse data which should be shared with the ministry for government to make informed decisions in addressing challenges which hamper the education sector in realising outcomes from learning,” he said.
He said government and donor partners invest a lot of resources in the education sector, but it becomes difficult to realise outcomes from such investment due to inadequate inspectors, hence the need for the appointment and accreditation of the new inspectors.
Saidi then advised the inspectors to be abiding by their code of ethics so that they discharge their duties without fear or favour.
“The ministry will not hesitate to remove anyone who will not discharge his or her duties professionally from the Inspectorate and Advisory Directorate,” warned Saidi.
He then expressed hope that learning outcomes will improve with the newly recruited inspectors.
In his remarks, an official from Lgap, Chikondi Maleta said despite huge investment in the Education Sector, especial primary school, pass rates of Malawi Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations are persistently low.
Maleta said there are still increased school dropouts and repetitions with a transition rate to secondary schools at 35 per cent.
“This indicates that there is wastage of resources coupled with poor education governance leading to non-functioning of public primary schools in the country,” said Maleta.
He said Lgap decided to partner with MoEST in strengthening primary school education governance for better learning outcomes.
“Besides supporting this training, Lgap intends to train all newly appointed head teachers in management among other areas,” he said.
According to a fact sheet of Spotlight on Education Governance and Decentralization within Lgap Framework of 2019/ 2020, education outcomes for primary education in Malawi is low as compared to other countries in the Southern African Developing Community (SADC). Malawi comes last in English reading while the country is last but one in Mathematics.
Most of the newly appointed inspectors were serving primary school head teachers.
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