Msaka concedes Malawi secondary school education system facing serious challenges

Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka has said the secondary school education system was facing serious challenges, pointing out that there was need for a major transformation.

Msaka with some students who participated at Regional Dialogue Meeting on secondary education in southern region at Mount Soche.-Photo by Mayamiko Wallace, Mana

He made the observation on Monday in Blantyre at Mount Soche Hotel when he opened a regional dialogue meeting on secondary education in the southern region chapter.

Msaka said the introduction of free primary education at the dawn of multiparty democracy caused very huge challenges to the secondary sub-sector in that the growth and expansion that occurred was never matched with the growth and expansion at that level.

“We ended up with more primary schools in the country without a commensurate increase in secondary schools. There are 5,400 primary schools versus 749 secondary schools and we have 5million learners in primary schools and only around 400,000 learners in secondary school.

“Over 800,000 learners enroll in primary school every year and less than 100,000 proceed to secondary level per year and we have over 77,000 teachers for primary schools and only 14,000 teachers in secondary schools,” the Minister explained.

Msaka encouraged participants to the dialogue meeting to objectively review what they have done over the past decade and map the way forward towards a vibrant and improved secondary school sector that the nation needs.

Apparently, the ministry of education has engaged the academia to carry out studies on a number of areas that require thorough analysis to help the sector understand the secondary education programme better and use the feedback and recommendations for generation of a comprehensive national education sector plan.

The dialogue session has brought together, the academia, development partners and traditional leaders whereby they are expected to analyze education programmes and reforms at secondary school level, access quality and relevance of secondary education as well as the curriculum in terms of subject arrangement and resourcing.

Two other similar meetings are expected to take place in Mangochi and Mzuzu respectively.

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Honourable Minister, what is required is not an overhaul or expansion of bricks & mortal (secondary schools) but rather an overhaul of entire curriculum at primary, secondary school and university level. The world has become a global village and is rapidly moving into the 4th industrial phase. The education system therefore has to prepare the young generation and the old school alike to the this world we probably don’t have a clue about. The focus therefore should not just be building more secondary schools but also seriously look at online access which will allow Malawians tap into a wide number… Read more »
You funny Mr Msaka! Why conceding this late? Wolrd Bank told the DPP government about this same issue in 2010 ( and your government denied it in totality. At that time and as is shown in this report World Bank told you that the secondary school level, in spite of having a relatively good average Student Teacher Ratio has more than 60 percent of teachers that are under-qualified and most of the under qualified teachers work in CDSSs; 81 percent of the CDSS teaching force is unqualified. Sincerely if you were listening you would have done something on this by… Read more »
The tructh

The data quoted on secondary school leaners of 400,000 vs. 749 secondary schools should have been put into context. What is the capacity of these secondary schools? At least a range would do? Simple division will give us 550 learners per school?

The same with 800,000 enrolment should surely give us roughly the same number of potential secondary school candidates. Where do the rest go? Please be highlighting full facts so that we the readers are fully informed.

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