Great leaders inspire and make decisions that leave the citizenry scratching their heads in disbelief.
The sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams opined and I quote: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
This week has seen Malawi undergoing some of the if not perhaps the greatest radical policy implementation the country has ever seen – Leadership par excellence displayed without regard to consequences.
The government of APM, as how President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika is fondly called by the masses, announced two key policy decisions that will have a far reaching impact in the education sector.
APM’s Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. William Susuwele Banda, made the following policy announcements on Thursday in Lilongwe.
“…Quota System of selecting students into various colleges and universities is abolished forthwith…
“…Government is re-introducing JCE Examination with effect from the 2020/2021 school calendar year. The first JCE Examinations after the re-introduction will be taken in 2021…”
This is huge. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines radical as ‘extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions.’
Now what APM has done is truly radical. Something that all other mortals in the country have been blaring on the political podium with little action.
Quota system, was introduced to achieve parity in tertiary education in 1987, but having achieved its aim, no one dared to scrap it off until one great son of the nation called APM made that daring decision to completely end it.
All we can say as a nation is bravo to APM! Be blessed Sir. By making that bold policy decision, APM has given the nation an opportunity to change the discussion discourse on quota system to other development issues.
And if that was not enough, APM also took the decision to re-introduce the Junior Certificate Examinations (JCE) having listened to the outcry from the masses – What a listening President.
As it has been said, ‘The true mark of a leader is the willingness to stick with a bold course of action — an unconventional strategy, a unique product-development roadmap…even as the rest of the world wonders why you’re not marching in step with the status quo. In other words, real leaders are happy to zig while others zag. They understand that in an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special.’
The above clearly defines President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika who has stood out regardless of the political machinations that are going on around the country.
During the May, 2019 Tripartite General Elections, that President Mutharika convincingly won, he stood against many candidates including United Democratic Front (UDF) President Atupele Muluzi.
Fast forward nine months down the line, APM took another radical decision in a Mandela-sque way, where he has taken on board the UDF President and his party in a political partnership ‘to serve the nation.’
That is tremendous, not just by Malawian standards, but even globally. It is almost unprecedented.
Just like in the Bible, Mathew 8:27, which records that, ‘The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
All we can say is ‘what kind of man is this radical; APM, who takes and implements radical decisions selflessly not for his benefit, but for the benefit of the nation.
Long Live radical APM, the living hero of the nation. Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa.
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