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.
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.