SMP Commits to Support Malawi Education Minister's Clear Vision for Reforms
10 December 2020
We were delighted that Malawi's new Education Minister and long-standing friend of Scotland, Hon. Agnes Nyalonje set out her vision and priorities so clearly, articulated in 8 immediate and medium-term reforms, at the SMP's Education Forum on the 3rd of December. We are happy to be able to share these again here and to reiterate the SMP's commitment to do whatever is within its power to support the Minister's aims.
We would like to thank all attendees for their valuable participation in our Education Forum last Thursday 3rd December. We were delighted that Malawi’s new Education Minister and long-standing friend of Scotland, Hon. Agnes Nyalonje set out her vision and priorities so clearly, articulated in 8 immediate and medium-term reforms. We are happy to be able to share these again here and to reiterate the SMP’s commitment to do whatever is within its power to support the Minister’s aims. We are grateful to the event’s Chair, Dr Yonah Matemba for his leadership and skilful management of the proceedings and to all of the Speakers for their insightful contributions.
Minister Nyalonje’s immediate and medium-term focus for reform:
i.Promote evidence-informed policy and data-driven decision making, based on a detailed analysis of our education system at the levels of the individual schools, education districts and divisions, and the country as a whole. This will allow us collectively, by ourselves and with our development partners, better plan the type of investment required, and how much and where it should be allocated
ii.Strengthen school and teacher training college governance and management through establishment of local boards and formal school management committees that will enhance accountability, transparency, and local ownership of the education institutions.
iii.Enhance teacher welfare and development; and professionalize the teaching workforce. This will include setting up a Teachers’ Council and setting Diploma-level as a minimum qualification for teachers.
iv.Establish the Malawi Qualifications Authority so that the country can develop a National Qualifications Framework. This will bring credibility to the quality of national and international qualifications provided through our education institutions and will bridge Academic and TEVET teaching and learning.
v.Review and revise the selection policies for secondary schools and universities to make sure that they are equitable and based on performance and merit.
vi.Develop and introduce a policy on an essential school infrastructure package. This will provide a holistic approach to school construction and rehabilitation and lead to a more efficient and cost-effective approach to renovating and constructing schools.
vii.Improve the efficiency of the Ministry itself, through strengthening several directorates, notably the Directorate of Inspectorate and Advisory Services and the Directorate of Inclusive Education; and establishing two new directorates, the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation, and the Directorate on Open Distance and e-Learning).
viii.Develop a concerted, strategic and professional approach to ‘communication for transformation’ so that we can better inform Malawians and educational professional about what is happening and why, and better enable a dialogue within Malawi about how we should best develop our education system
The CEO of the SMP, David Hope-Jones committed the SMP’s support:
Honourable Minister, Your priorities are our priorities, your agenda is our agenda. You’ve outlined a very inspiring eight points of reform. I can give you the commitment of the Scotland Malawi Partnership that we will do everything that we can within our power, to influence our 1,200 members, to influence our government and our Parliament to work within and towards those eight reform principles. We wouldn’t be living up to the principles of partnership that we hold so dear to our hearts and to which we hold ourselves accountable, if we weren’t immediately responsive to the clear agenda as it’s been outlined today and thank you for reiterating the three challenges the President of Malawi has given to Scotland. Again my reassurances in that regard that Scotland can and will step up to those challenges...
Honourable Minister, I can commit that in the coming weeks and months, we will work to disaggregate what our members are doing across those eight areas. We’ll look to facilitate new modes of communication, co-ordination and collaboration to be able to deliver across these eight areas and Honourable Minister, I can commit that in a year’s time, we will host another meeting like this in which we are able to report back fully, what we have done in the past 12 months to drive that agenda, your agenda and Honourable Minister, I’d like to invite you back to that meeting Minister.
If your organisation has links with Malawi which relate to any of the Minister’s 8 areas of reform, please e-mail David(at)scotland-malawipartnership.org identifying which ones.
How to watch the event online
A recording of the event is shared below.
You may also view this video via YouTube using the time stamps feature (enabling viewers to click on these to jump to specific sections of the meeting). This can be found online by Opening this link to YouTube.