Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday officially opened Phalombe Teacher Training College (TTC) which is co-funded by United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID).
DFID provided 3.9bn kwacha (£4.2m) of UK aid for Phalombe TTC, to help address Malawi’s current and future need for qualified teachers.
“The opening of this Teacher Training College should serve as a sign of my government’s commitment towards improving education in the country.
“We all know that education is the foundation of all development in a country,” President Mutharika said when he opened the college.
He added that his government has outlined a number of educational projects such as construction of new primary and secondary schools across the country and three TTCs in Rumphi, Mchinji and Chikwawa Districts.
“These government schools and teacher training colleges should be able to reduce the teacher-learner ratio which currently stands at about 1:73 to the international recommended standard of 1:60 or even less,” he added.
Commenting on the importance of training more teachers in the country, Head of Department for International Development (DfID) in Malawi, Jane Marshall, said the introduction of free primary education in Malawi in 1994 provided children in the country with an opportunity to attain an education hence the need for more teachers to teach them.
Marshall further pledged DfID’s support to the Malawian education system saying the department understands how education remains a pillar for growth and development in Malawi.
“Evidence shows a well trained teacher in the classroom is the single most important factor in influencing educational learning outcomes,” she said.
She said well educated children and adults are one of the greatest assets of a country like Malawi, a country trying to boost its economic growth and to lift its people out poverty.
“And for individual children, particularly girls too often left behind, a good education transforms lives and opportunities. Good teachers, trained, paid appropriately to be in posts across the country, teaching well, and protecting and encouraging the children in their care, are vital,” Marshall.
“Education has long been a critical part of the UK’s support to Malawi.,” she pointed out.
DfID boss disclosed that the UK has provided over 84 billion kwacha (£91m) in support of the education sector since 2010, including for teacher education, management and teaching quality, in a system increasingly under pressure from population growth.
”As part of wider support to education, we are pleased to have co-funded this facility, in a district that has one of the highest pupil teacher ratios in the country.
“DFID provided 3.9bn MWK (4.2m GBP) of UK aid for Phalombe TTC, to help address Malawi’s current and future need for qualified teachers.
“DFID co-funded the TTC with the Government of Malawi up to 2014, paying contractors directly. The Government continues to take responsibility for issues arising, for utilities and maintenance, and for ensuring the new College is well used.”
In his remarks, Minister of Education Science and Technology, Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano said, currently, the country produces at least 5, 500 teachers per year, and employs most of them.
“While sometimes we may not be able to employ all the graduate teachers at once, our government is trying all it can to ensure that all the student teachers are employed and by August 1 this year, we will have employed the other group which is still unemployed so that by the start of the next term, they should be at their duty stations,” announced the Minister.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :