By Tione Andsen
Malawi government is geared to recruit 500 secondary school teachers in order to reduce teacher-student ratio.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, William Susuwele Banda disclosed this Friday in Lilongwe when he made a Ministerial Statement on the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in the 2019/2020 Fiscal year.
He said to improve the quality of learning there was need to increase the numbers of teachers in secondary schools.
The Minister said the recruitment of the teachers would match with the increase in number of secondary schools under Secondary Education Expansion for Development (SEED) Project with 250 schools and Equity with Quality and learning at Secondary (EQUALS) Project with 100 schools.
Banda pointed out that government continues to implement its efforts to reduce the high Pupil to Qualified Teacher Ratio (PQTR) in the country with a goal of improving quality education.
He noted that currently at primary school level an average ration of 70 pupil to a teacher, the amount of work being handled by teachers in class is quite enormous and itself defeating on the aspiration of achieving quality education at that level.
“To strike a balance and re-align ourselves to the region’s level of 45 pupils to a teacher, there is need for more teachers in the sector. Government continues to increase deployment of teachers in the country’s schools,” the Minister added.
Banda explained that in 2018/19 fiscal year, 10,000 teachers were recruited and deployed to various primary schools.
He revealed that the Ministry intends to recruit the remaining cohort 12 teachers in this financial year and all processes are at advanced stage.
“We need 13,000 additional teachers in our primary schools in order for reduce the pupil teacher ratio to 1 to 45 in order to address the issue of quality deliveries in schools,” Banda stated.
Government is constructing three Teachers Training colleges (TTCs) in Rumphi, Mchinji and Chikwawa districts.
This is one of major investments which is aimed at reducing the Pupil to Qualified teacher ratio and at the same time provide quality of education to the learners.
Progress in all the three TTCs is at 52 per cent and is expected to be completed in August 2020 in order to allow first intake in September, 2020.
Each TTC will host 600 students’ teachers and this will boost the already existing eight public TTCs whose bed capacity in total is 4,490.
Currently there are eight private TTC complementing government efforts in teacher trainings.-MANA